By Harvey Hoffman
Tom Brady will enter free agency to play somewhere other than the New England Patriots next season, ESPN is reporting.
The Patriots will have their opportunity to convince Brady to stay. But at this point, Brady is evaluating the NFL landscape with the intention of departing, sources said.
Brady cannot begin negotiating with other teams until the NFL’s legal tampering period opens March 16. An eventual meeting between Brady and coach Bill Belichick has not yet been scheduled, according to Darlington. The new NFL league year begins at 4 p.m. ET March 18.
If Brady joins another team, it would end a historic run in New England that included six Super Bowl championships, more than any player in NFL history. Brady’s 20 seasons with the Patriots — in which he combined with Belichick to form one of the all-time great quarterback/coach combinations — are the most ever with one team by a quarterback.
One reason why the Patriots and Brady haven’t had any contract discussions is the uncertainty surrounding the collective bargaining agreement, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Once that is known, Belichick and Brady can discuss everything, including how a contract could be structured.