What is going to happen with Tom Brady this offseason?
That is the question everyone in New England, and across the league is asking. But, the fact of the matter is no one really knows -- even Brady himself.
The 42-year-old will become a free agent for the first time in his career on March 18 and if not re-signed by New England by then he would be free to sign anywhere across the league. Teams like the Chargers, Dolphins and Cowboys have been thrown out as possible landing spots given their cap space and potential need for a quarterback.
With that being said, appearing on The Greg Hill Show Friday, ESPN's Adam Schefter believes the teams that are in the mix come March may in fact be ones no one is even thinking about now, which is similar to the Peyton Manning situation when he was leaving Indianapolis in 2012 and ultimately signed with the Broncos.
“I believe that that will happen again. That is what I believe," he said. "I believe there will be teams that have really not been at the forefront of the speculation, which is what this is, that will emerge and all of a sudden be potential landing spots for Tom Brady.”
What exactly is Brady looking for?
“Where is his family going to be happy, where is the TB12 brand going to grow, where does my family want to live, and what team has the type of supporting cast I feel I can compete with?," Schefter said.
As for the Patriots' quarterback situation if Brady does in fact leave, Schefter seems to indicate it might make sense to stick with Jarrett Stidham instead of paying top dollar for a free agent quarterback.
“A couple of things though, I don’t think there are the number of obvious, apparent openings for starting quarterbacks this offseason that there have been in other offseasons due to the influx of young quarterbacks that have entered the league in recent years," he said. "That is No. 1. So, the supply almost exceeds the demand. Now, not every team is set there.
“No. 2, I will come back to this, whether it is Teddy Bridgewater, or Andy Dalton, or Drew Brees, or Philip Rivers or Jameis Winston, or you pick the quarterback and we could insert any name there, if you’re the New England Patriots, do you want to pay $18, 20, 25, 30 million dollars to one of these guys, or do you want to go with Jarrett Stidham on a rookie contract and fill some of the other holes with the salary cap savings that you have, assuming Tom is not back?”
No matter what happens, Brady's future will be the biggest story of the offseason -- bigger than Manning's situation eight years ago.
“There won’t be a bigger offseason storyline than this one, clearly," Schefter said. "It really does remind me of 2012 when Peyton was leaving Indianapolis and everything took on a life of its own, everything that happened -- when he was visiting with teams, the coverage that that got. Helicopters flying overhead when he was working out with John Harbaugh in Miami and breathless reports literally every single day over every single meeting. This would be like that, but higher because that was 2012 and eight years ago.”