The New England Patriots’ up-and-down season came to an unceremonious end Saturday night, as the Titans beat the Patriots 20-13 in the AFC Wild Card. It was the Patriots’ earliest postseason exit since 2009, and already speculation has swirled about Tom Brady’s future.
Has he played his last game for the Patriots? Will he bolt New England in free agency?
Joe Theismann says no to both.
“I can’t see Tom at the age of 43 going to another football team, learning another system,” Theismann told Damon Amendolara. “Even if Josh McDaniels leaves, I just can’t see him leaving new England and going someplace else. Now, others have done it. Namath did it, Montana did it – Favre went to a number of stops. But I just can’t see Tom not finishing and being a New England Patriot. I just can’t see him wearing another uniform at this stage of his career. . . . It really would be wrong for Tom to put on another uniform, in my mind.”
The decision could hinge on the financials. Brady, who turns 43 in August, has always given the Patriots a hometown discount, but if another team offers more money, which is a distinct possibility, Brady could make a business decision.
“Tom’s never been one to hold up the New England Patriots,” Theismann said. “He’s, what, the 42nd-highest paid player in the National Football League? The 16th quarterback? So he’s not looking for $40 million or $35 million or $30 million. I could see the Patriots offering him a two-year deal somewhere in the high-teens, low-20s, which would be another $40 million. And then you still have the opportunity to go and look for who the next person is going to be. That’s the big question."