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Tom Brady Rumors: 'Real Negotiations' Yet to Begin, Kraft Won't 'Intercede'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2020

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 04: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts 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

Robert Kraft reportedly isn't going to get involved in negotiations between quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

According to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports, "real negotiations have yet to begin" between the sides and "Kraft will not intercede despite his long-stated preference that Brady retires a Patriot."

He added: "Kraft opened the door for Brady to decide his future when he agreed the Patriots wouldn't use the franchise tag on Brady in 2020. The owner is similarly committed to letting Bill Belichick decide the football future of the team."

It's hard to fathom that Brady might finish his career elsewhere after winning six titles with New England in nine Super Bowl trips, but Belichick and the Patriots have reason to approach this pragmatically.

Brady will be 43 by the time the 2020 season begins, and his 2019 season wasn't great. Take away the 2016 season (when Brady was suspended four games) and the 2008 season (when he played just one game before tearing his ACL), and his passing yards (4,057) were the lowest since 2010, his passing touchdowns (24) the lowest since 2006 and his completion percentage (60.8 percent) the lowest since 2013. 

Yes, the Patriots were devoid of game-changing players at the skill positions. That hurt Brady's productivity. But there will also come a point when Brady is simply unable to perform at a top level physically. The Patriots are justified in protecting themselves from that eventuality. 

And in turn, Brady is justified in wanting another major payday before he calls it quits. He's taken more than his fair share of pay cuts throughout the years to give New England a competitive edge. 

Plus, there's little doubt that Brady will have a vibrant market if he decides to leave New England. That gives him leverage, too. 

Both sides make fair points. And it sounds as though Kraft is going to let them come to a resolution—or decide to part ways—on their own.

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