Tom Brady Rumors: Patriots Likely to Open Contract Talks 'In a Couple of Weeks'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2020

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 04: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots warms up on the sideline during the the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

A reunion with the New England Patriots is still on the table for Tom Brady as he weighs his options in free agency.

NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran reported Monday the sides are expected to meet soon: "Negotiations will begin 'in a couple of weeks.' I interpret that as during or immediately after the NFL combine, which starts about February 26 and concludes March 1."

Curran also provided some insight into the Patriots' approach with the 14-time Pro Bowler: "My understanding is that the Patriots aren't worried about other teams' financial pitches. Their business with Brady revolves around the direction of the 2020 offensive personnel, Brady getting some input on that and Brady's role in the team's future. They aren't going to be super-vigilant about tampering."

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Feb. 2 the Patriots are prepared to offer at least $30 million annually, which is the going rate for an elite quarterback. Brady only counted for $21.5 million against the cap in 2019.

Curran noted in January the Patriots have an incentive to hammer out a new deal as soon as possible. Should Brady not sign his next contract before free agency starts March 18, New England will carry $13.5 million in dead money into the 2020 season, even if he returns.

The team would also surely like to have a resolution so it can pursue other quarterbacks if Brady moves on.

Brady had a down season in 2019, throwing for 4,057 yards and 24 touchdowns with eight interceptions while completing 60.8 percent of his passes. He will also turn 43 in August. Still, his reputation speaks for itself.

Sports writer Larry Fitzgerald Sr., the father of Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald, reported last week the Las Vegas Raiders were ready to give Brady a two-year deal worth $60 million.

Plenty of teams with an eye toward contention will be willing to gamble Brady has at least one or two more good seasons left in the tank.

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