After the Patriots’ shocking defeat to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card, Tom Brady became a free agent for the first time in his career. Before this season, he signed a contract that could void at the end of this season, making him a free agent. Although there has been a lot of talk about his future, there is nothing certain, only that it is pretty unlikely that he will retire. Tom Brady has been a member of the Patriots since 1999 when he was drafted 199th overall.
During this span, he has won six Super Bowls and won MVP three times. He has constantly shown that he is one of the greatest athletes in the clutch, leading his Patriots to 36 fourth-quarter comebacks and 45 game-winning drives in the regular season. He has also done it in the playoffs, helping complete nine fourth-quarter comebacks and 13 game-winning drives.
So why should the Patriots keep him and what is it going to take?
Brady Can Win With Anyone
The Patriots and the NFL will most likely never see another Tom Brady. He has been so good for so long and he is the greatest quarterback to play the sport. The Patriots were severely lacking weapons on the outside for Brady this season. They had Julian Edelman, who had an injured shoulder all season, Mohammed Sanu who was probably not worth the second-round pick the Patriots used to get him, and Phillip Dorsett, who was a non-factor all season. On top of those guys, they had Jakobi Meyers, who is an undrafted rookie and the lights might be a little too bright for him right now, and N’Keal Harry, who was on injured reserve until week 8 and he is not a refined route runner yet. And on top of that, they had to release Antonio Brown, for obvious reasons, and Josh Gordon was also released. That’s only at the wide receiver position.
At tight end, Rob Gronkowski retired at the end of last year and the Patriots signed 39-year old Benjamin Watson to fill his role. Watson was good when he got a chance to catch the ball, but he is definitely no Gronk.
Besides all this, Brady still led his team to a 12-4 record and a top 10 passing attack. Put any quarterback who is going to be a free agent or rookie next season in that same spot, and they won’t make the playoffs with that. Brady has shown that he can win with what you give him, no matter what. He led a 28-3 comeback in Super Bowl 51 throwing to James White, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola, and Chris Hogan. Tom Brady is going to put the Patriots in the best spot to succeed.
Jarrett Stidham Isn’t Ready
The Patriots took Jarrett Stidham in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Patriots are growing to like Stidham and he is apparently making improvements. No matter how much he improves, he still is not fully ready. Everybody saw what he did against the Jets in his only chance to play this season. A couple more seasons with Brady teaching him will be paramount. He is going to learn from the best and if Brady stays for another year or two, Stidham’s knowledge of the offense will only grow.
Brady needs to stay because he is a winner and he can also teach Stidham the ropes. Teaching Stidham is almost as important as him winning because he could very well be the future at the quarterback position.
How Can The Pats Bring Him Back?
Brady allegedly won’t take a hometown discount to come back to Foxboro next season, so it is going to take a little bit to get him back. He is worth the money, but he is going to want pieces. In order to entice Brady to re-sign, it is going to take some effort.
The Patriots are going to need to sign or trade for a weapon outside, someone who can stretch the field and force the opponent to leave Edelman one-on-one. Odell Beckham Jr. has been vocal in saying he wants to come to play with Brady. Antonio Brown could potentially come back if he puts his head on straight. If you can convince Gronk to play again, Brady won’t pass up coming back to play with him once again. All you need is one of those because Edelman will still be in New England and N’Keal Harry has a full offseason to work on his craft. Harry could be that weapon next year, but he needs to take a huge leap to do so.
Brady said he won’t take a pay cut, but if the Patriots promise him a star outside, there is almost no chance he leaves Foxboro.