Talib was a guest on the NFL Network, he said that he had been a call with Belichick that "didn't go well" while he was a free agent, and that he believes Brady is gone.
I opened my eyes and woke up this morning which means I'm alive, the world is still turning, and Tom Brady is still a free agent.
I'm sure by now you're just as tired as I am reading, listening, and talking about Tom Brady's future and where he's going to play in 2020, but that doesn't mean that people are going to stop giving their opinions. The latest former Patriots to weigh in on the Brady situation is former New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib.
Talib played two seasons for the Patriots from 2012-2013, before he found himself on the receiving end of "business as usual" phone call from Bill Belichick when Talib was a free agent.
Though Adam Schefter has disputed reporters that Brady and Belichick's phone call last week didn't go well, it's not stopping people from running with that narrative, and when while Talib was a guest on the NFL Network, he said that he had been a call with Belichick that "didn't go well" while he was a free agent, and that he believes Brady is gone.
"If (Belichick's) treating everybody the same in the meeting room, he's probably treating everybody the same around free agency time as well," Talib said on NFL Network. "I think Tom is gone. I think it's a done deal and Bill is going to be Bill. Them calls are going to be short and to the point. We got a report that said it didn't go well. I had a call that didn't go well with Bill before, so I can imagine what happened on that call."
Talib can imagine, but like the rest of us he has no idea. I'm not blind, I can see the writing on the wall and I am very aware that there is a very good possibility that Tom Brady is leaving the New England Patriots. But, I find it kind of comical that Aqib Talib who played two seasons for the Patriots and has played for five teams throughout his career, can compare himself to what's happening with Tom Brady. Brady has played for the Patriots for twenty years and is quite possibly the greatest football player to ever play the game, so even though Talib can speculate that Belichick is taking the same approach with Brady that he did with him, there just isn't any evidence to back that up.
There have been a lot of different storylines surrounding the Belichick/Brady relationship. We've heard about tensions in the locker room, Brady wanting respect, but we've also watched Belichick gush over Brady, and use words like "Icon". So it's really difficult to figure out exactly what the two think of each other considering Brady has called Belichick the greatest coach of all time on multiple occasions.
Talib believes that both Brady and Belichick want to prove that they can win without the other. This has been popular thought amongst reporters, analysts, and fans. Some people have blamed Belichick for his “ego”, but this is clearly a situation where both men feel some sort of superiority. I think we have to remember that Brady set himself up to be a free agent this season. You don’t go as far as demanding that your contract have a stipulation that the Patriots can’t use the franchise tag if you didn’t intend on exploring the market. If at 42 years old Brady feels like he needs validation and wants teams to gush over him, then he has every right to do so. But we can’t act like negotiations only come from the team's side. Like Belichick said after the season, “contract negotiations are a two way street”
It does leave us wondering though if Talib has a point when he says both Brady and Belichick want to win without the other.
"It's kind of a chip on both of their shoulders that's like, 'I want to do this thing and see if I could do it without him.'"
The most confusing part of this whole situation is, if Tom Brady does leave the Patriots, where does he go? At the beginning of February it felt like Brady could have signed with any team he wanted outside of Kansas City and Baltimore, now things seemed to have slowed down. Tennessee is focusing their attention on Ryan Tannehill. The Las Vegas Raiders seem comfortable with Derek Carr. The Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants have both said they’re out on the Brady sweepstake. So if Brady’s market does shrink, does New England end up being the best spot for Brady?
Bill Belichick is playing a dangerous game of chicken, and we’re just a few days away from finding out who wins.