For the first time since the New England Patriots were served an early elimination at the hands of Patriots legend Mike Vrabel and his Tennessee Titans, the Patriots have finally publicly addressed whether or not they are going to re-sign Tom Brady with three beautiful words that Pats Nation has been waiting for “We plan to”
Patriots owner Rob Kraft was in New York City Tuesday night and he was tracked down by TMZ who asked Mr. Kraft if the Patriots were going to re-sign future Hall of Famer and six time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, and Mr. Kraft simply responded with “We Plan to.”
I found this significant because the Patriots as an organization, whether it’s Bill Belichick, any of the coaches, players, or the Kraft family, everybody always chooses their words carefully. As a fan base we have been conditioned to not expect anything of value being said publicly. If we chopped up every sound bite form the past five seasons and we would probably have about 30 seconds of useful content. That’s why hearing Mr. Kraft publicly proclaim that the Patriots plan to bring back Brady is very significant.
Tom Brady will be 43 years old at the start of the 2020 season and for the first time in his career he is facing free agency, and as of March 18 he will be able to sign with any team that would have him. I have stood pretty firm that I believe Brady would be returning to the Patriots, and Mr. Kraft’s words gave me even more confidence moving forward that Brady will be returning to New England. Whether you’re a Patriots fan or not, can you really invision Tom Brady wearing another team’s jersey?
Brady, of course, is the greatest Patriot of all time and I think the only thing that would make sense is a reunion with the owner and the coach that has been so instrumental to his success. Brady’s not only a six time Super Bowl champion, he’s also a 14-time Pro Bowler, holds multiple NFL records, he’s a four-time Super Bowl MVP and a three-time NFL MVP.
Brady’s contract status has obviously added the most fuel to this fire, but it goes a little bit deeper than just his contract. The Patriots had a pretty good season finishing 12-4 and winning the AFC East. But, being knocked out of the postseason so early and losing the second seed in the last game of the season at home to the Miami Dolphins is really the Patriots underachieving. Brady and Belichick have set a bar and standard that is very difficult to achieve, but for the last twenty years the Patriots have been meeting most of their goals.
The Patriots are going to have to ensure that they entice Brady to return and it all won’t be about money. Brady’s numbers dropped this season and it was much more about his offensive teammates than it was Tom Brady. Belichick is going to need to address the tight end position through free agency and the draft. The Patriots are also going to need to stabilize the offensive line. If the Patriots front office does their job and builds an offense that Tom Brady likes, I 100% guarantee number 12 will be at Gillette Stadium when minicamp starts.