Do you have an opinion on Tom Brady? You do? That's good! I'm sure you think that you have a pretty good hunch for what the Greatest Of All Time is going to do once free agency starts. Everyone seems to think that right now and I'll let you in on a little secret. No one knows besides Tom and his inner circle. No one.
This NFL offseason has really only been going on for a month or so, but the talk about Brady has gone on in New England ever since he signed that deal back in the summer and we knew he'd hit free agency. Now the whole NFL and country is in on the chatter and it's made the situation that much worse. Every single Tom, Dick and Harry out there is "reporting" on where Tom is likely to go (or stay) and what the likelihood is.
The moves of Brady, his family and any connection he has are being looked at under a magnifying glass. The local media in Boston is joined by the national media with ESPN, NFL Network or Fox Sports in creating something out of nothing. One day, Brady is 100% staying in New England with a $60 million contract and new weapons surrounding him to make another run or two at a title. The next day, he's got his bags packed and is ready to move on to the New York Giants. It's nuts!
If there's one thing I've learned while paying attention to sports for the last 20 years of my life, it's that rumors can get out of hand. Even when you think you know where a player is going or what is happening, it needs to become official before you lose your mind. We aren't even in the new league year, with the new CBA, and the overreaction to each tweet from Jeff Darlington or Adam Schefter is at a fever pitch.
.@Peter_King: "It's funny, I just had breakfast this morning with quite a big influencer in the NFL and I said, 'what's your gut feeling about Brady?' and he goes, 'oh he's definitely going back to New England.'" pic.twitter.com/UrWkydAwJJ— Dale & Keefe (@DaleKeefeWEEI) February 27, 2020
Tom Brady and his team are calculated. The Patriots are calculated. While I don't doubt some of the reporting in the sense that "sources" leaked this info to the Darlingtons or Schefters of the world, you have to look at it from all angles. Neither side is going to tip their hand and they'll both play the game of putting smokescreens out there or angling for leverage.
In the end, fans need to realize that people are throwing stuff against the wall to see if it sticks. They'll try to dress it up and make it look professional while only having an educated GUESS. That way when the news does come down of Brady staying or going, someone will be able to say they had it first. No one has it right now. Maybe not even Tom Brady himself.
*I will say that my favorite theory came from a caller into 98.5 The Sports Hub yesterday. Want to hear it? Okay, just grab your tin-foil hat real quick. The guy basically said that Brady and the Patriots have an agreement already and are not announcing it because they want to create issues for the competition.
As an example, the Raiders have been linked to Brady and it's irked their current QB, Derek Carr. By Brady staying out there and on the Raider's radar, he creates a confidence issue with Carr and hurts the relationship between the QB and the team. It would be a diabolical move and I want to believe in it, but I know better.