There is perhaps no athlete in history whose every move is scrutinized and placed under a microscope like Tom Brady. When Brady sells his Massachusetts home, we analyze what that could mean. As Brady sat ringside for UFC 246 in Las Vegas, we speculated that to mean he may be in talks with the Raiders. When images on Twitter surface of him walking into an empty Gillette Stadium, we wonder if that conveys a message about his future. When we realize those same images are a part of a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, we were all deflated (no pun intended) to learn it was just part of a Hulu commercial.
At 42 years old, it is the biggest compliment to Tom Brady that his off-season plans are receiving as much attention as they are. Brady has said he is “open-minded” about his NFL future as he approaches free agency for the first time. If he resigns with the Patriots, it would be his 21st season with the same team. That would tie Lions kicker Jason Hanson’s NFL record for longest tenure with one team. Though Brady does not officially become a free agent until March 18, there will likely be talks with the Patriots front office before then. Patriots owner Robert Kraft has addressed questions about Brady, admitting that he wants Brady back.
When Brady restructured his contract in August, there was a clause that he could not be franchise tagged. Thus, he has more maneuverability and can more-or-less dictate his next contract to his liking. The Las Vegas Raiders have openly said they would pursue Brady if he became a free agent. Sportsbooks rarely miss an opportunity to post lines, and many have odds on where Tom Brady will play in 2020-21.
Here are the odds on Tom Brady’s team for Week 1 of the 2020-21 season (odds courtesy of FanDuel).
|New England Patriots||-400|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+750|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+1000|
Assuming Tom Brady does not re-sign with the Patriots, what is the best bet for where he lands?
BEST BET: LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (+1000)
Again, I will go on record as saying I think Tom Brady will return to the Patriots. If his goal is to try and squeeze out one more Super Bowl before he retires, there is nowhere he is better set up to do so than in New England. He has the best coach in the history of the sport in Bill Belichick. He has an owner in Robert Kraft that would do whatever he needs to surround Brady with talent. Most importantly, he would still reside in an extremely winnable division, thus giving him an easier path to the playoffs.
That last statement is the one big negative of signing with the Chargers. Would Brady really sign with a team in the same division where Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champions reside? He would be in the same position then if he signed with the Raiders, who have the best odds of signing him if New England does not.
The thought process on Brady signing with the Chargers is two-fold: the roster is decent and it sets him up for life after his football career. The Los Angeles Chargers are in need of a quarterback after parting ways with Philip Rivers. As of now, the starting job would go to Tyrod Taylor which is something I am sure the franchise would like to avoid. The Chargers are likely to use the sixth pick in the draft on a quarterback like Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert. Even if they do, they would love the luxury of having them sit behind the greatest quarterback of all-time for a year. Melvin Gordon is one of the most talented running backs in the game. Also, you can find many teams with worse options than Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry to throw the ball to.
More towards the second point, who cannot envision Brady, in essence, doing what Lebron James did? Lebron left a small-market city for the exposure and the “bright lights” of Los Angeles. He knew what the city could do for his movie career or whatever post-basketball ventures he has in mind. While Brady has not appeared in any movies per se like Lebron with his role in “Trainwreck,” that does not mean he will not venture into the Hollywood industry when his playing career is done.
Or, Tom Brady can do what any good husband would do and consult his wife about the matter. Has anyone asked Gisele’s thoughts on where she would like her husband to play?