By Charles Williams
The year is 2000 the New England Patriots just selected their franchise quarterback for the next 20 years. Tom Brady, a sixth-round pick out of the University of Michigan would be the face of the NFL for the next two decades. Bill Belichick put his trust into Brady after his first super bowl win in 2002 and the duo helped build a dynasty in New England. This summer Brady has the option to stay with the Patriots or find a new team. With the Chargers, Colts, Raiders, Buccaneers, and Cowboys looking for a QB, Brady will have options if he chooses to become a free agent. Brady leaving would shock the NFL based on how close he is with Owner Robert Kraft. Do not be surprised to see a different situation at QB next year for the Patriots, if Brady decides to leave.
New England has been in a situation where Tom Brady was not available to play for the Patriots. In the 2008 season and 2015 season, Brady was not able to compete for the Patriots due to injuries and a suspension. In 2008 the Patriots went 11-5 but did not make the playoffs and lost their star QB after he tore his ACL. In 2015 the Patriots were undefeated while Brady served a four-game suspension for the deflate-gate. Will New England be contenders still without Brady? Yes, Bill Belichick has a great system, but no one is just going to step in and continue what Tom Brady started. Brady has several teams that want him to come to play for them. The Chargers and Colts both fit him very well and keep him the AFC. The Raiders are a good fit because of the system but do not have the pieces that fit him. Leaving the sleeper team which is the Buccaneers because they are young and have the money to spend on Brady. The best fit would be the Chargers because of the weapons they have, and the defense is solid enough to keep Brady out of shootouts. All of this will come down to who can pay Brady the best and who can help him win another ring before his contract ends.
Robert Kraft sees Tom Brady as if he was like one of his children. They have a special relationship and to hear that Tom Brady wants to leave is breaking Kraft’s heart. What Kraft needs to do is offer as much money he can on the table until Brady has no reason to leave. It is not that simple because the money is not the problem it must be a bigger issue than that. Brady has never sat out because of his money not being enough so the issue is not with Kraft. Is it with Belichick? Is the narrative that Brady is only good because he a system QB bothering him now? Maybe, if Brady wins a super bowl somewhere else it will define him as the Greatest Quarterback to ever play the game. Kraft will try to persuade Brady to stay at all costs. Is he willing to overpay a QB that will be 42 this season?
If Brady leaves teams in the AFC will finally have a fair chance to compete for the super bowl now. As of right now the AFC team to beat would be Kanas City Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes. Last year Mahomes took the Chiefs to their first super bowl win in 50 years. With Brady out of New, England teams will have more confidence knowing they have a chance of winning a super bowl or even making the playoffs. None of this matter though if Brady stays in the AFC. If he lands with the Colts, it will be a contender with the offensive weapons he has at wide receiver and an offensive line that will protect him. The Chargers will fit him best because of Keenan Allen being his #1 WR and having a strong running game will help balance the offense out and lead them to success. The Raiders would be more of a pipe dream with him pairing up with Jon Gruden. Overall it would be a bad way to end his career if he went there. The Raiders just are not good right now and he will not fit well there. The Buccaneers are great because they are young, have weapons, and are almost a player away from becoming a force in the league. Brady would be in the NFC where the best teams play compared to the mediocre ones in the AFC. Brady has a lot to think about before free agency begins.
Brady needs to leave the Patriots so he can handle his contract situation with a team that wants him for another two-three years. Leaving the AFC would be a bold statement in terms of his legacy. If Brady were to leave the AFC and win, he would solidify himself as the GOAT. New England will eventually lose Tom Brady because he knows they are going to be fine without him. Time is ticking and father time is still undefeated so if Brady wants to win, he needs to find a team that suits him best. The world will miss the duo of Brady and Belichick but now the people will know who needed who to win.