According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, Big Papi exclaimed, "Pay the man!" when asked about the possibility of Brady returning to the Pats on Thursday:
Brady has spent his entire 20-year career with the Patriots, but he is set to test free agency for the first time when the NFL's legal tampering period begins March 16. If he signs with a different team, the Pats will be losing a 14-time Pro Bowler, six-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time NFL MVP.
ESPN's Jeff Darlington reported in late February that Brady is "operating under the belief" he will play elsewhere in 2020 and is "evaluating the NFL landscape with the intention of departing."
Ortiz spent the final 14 seasons of his MLB career with the Red Sox after breaking in with the Minnesota Twins, and he is arguably the biggest modern sports icon in Boston aside from Brady.
Red Sox fans likely would have struggled to see the 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion in a different uniform late in his career, and it may be an even worse feeling for Patriots fans if Brady tries his hand somewhere else.