Robert Kraft on Tom Brady: Patriots 'Plan To' Sign QB to Contract Amid Rumors

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2020

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates with owner Robert Kraft after winning the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft suggested Tuesday that the organization will attempt to bring back quarterback Tom Brady for a 21st NFL season in 2020. 

TMZ Sports asked Kraft in New York City about the Pats' plans for Brady:

When asked if the Patriots are going to re-sign the future Hall of Famer, Kraft said: "We plan to."

The 42-year-old Brady can become a free agent for the first time in his career in March, and he may be willing to leave after the Patriots struggled offensively at times this season and were eliminated in the AFC Wild Card Round of the playoffs by the Tennessee Titans.

Brady has enjoyed unprecedented success during his time under Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick. In addition to being a six-time Super Bowl champion, Brady is a 14-time Pro Bowler, four-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time NFL MVP.

He is also a statistical marvel, ranking second all-time in passing yards (74,571), second in passing touchdowns (541) and fifth in career passer rating (97.0).

Brady didn't play like his usual self this season, though, which could be attributed to multiple factors. His age may be starting to catch up with him, but it may have also been a case of not being given enough weapons to utilize.

Aside from slot receiver Julian Edelman and running back James White, Brady didn't have much in the way of reliable targets, especially following the retirement of tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Overall, Brady completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions, but he wasn't named to the Pro Bowl for the first time since he missed all but one game due to injury in 2008.

Brady is just two years removed from being named NFL MVP, however, and even after being eliminated early in his year's playoffs, he has won two of the past three, and three of the past five Super Bowls.

There is a lot for Brady to consider with regard to what decision he makes this offseason, but retirement doesn't appear to be in his plans, as he called it "pretty unlikely."

Signing elsewhere and not playing up to the lofty standards placed upon him could damage Brady's legacy a bit, but so could a poor performance in New England, which is possible if the Pats don't add more skill-position players on offense.

The Patriots have an elite defense that helped them go 12-4 and win the AFC East, though, and if not for a loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, New England would have had a first-round bye in the playoffs and things may have gone differently.

Kraft and Co. figure to do everything they can to sign Brady due to the lack of a contingency plan in place, but if they are unable to keep him, they can explore a fairly robust quarterback group in free agency that may also include Dak Prescott (if he isn't re-signed or franchised), Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, Teddy Bridgewater, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.

Big time episode of Stick to Football here from the Senior Bowl as two NFL GMs joined us for exclusive interviews, including talk about Tom Brady.