Since the season ended, the ongoing story of where Tom Brady will call home in 2020 has been the hottest off-season stove the region has ever seen. In the social media age of clicks & views, content claiming to know where Tom Brady might be leaning is hotter than OJ in 1994. People try to read the tea leaves all the time, but at this point we’re always about 5 minutes away from Sherpa’s, gurus and fortune cookies chiming in.
I can’t take it. Everyday my opinions swing a different way. I’ve been fairly steadfast that Brady will return, even amidst the daily “fake news” that’s been flooding football media. Although recently, every step forward is welcomed with an equal step, to the side? My problem is, I can’t quit it. It’s like when the red “Breaking News” scroll comes across ESPN’s bottom line, you always hold your breath for a second. As soon as I see a Tweet about Brady, I steel myself for the worst and hope for the best.
Case in point, Tom Brady is sitting courtside at the Carrier Dome last Saturday for UNC at Syracuse with Julian Edelman and Jimmy Fallon (why?). I felt great, surely Tommy’s not going to leave his squirrel pal high and dry in Foxboro alone, would he? Of course not, they’re boys, they go to college basketball games together with late night hosts, and you can’t do that if one plays in Tennessee! (Oh sure, you can, but it’s not the same.)
Then, from that same game, Tommy AND Jules were Face-timing with Mike Vrabel. WHAT?! Why? Why in that moment did that happen? Is Tommy playing us all? Was the picture photoshopped? Is Vrabel just helping Tommy leverage the Pats further? Did Fallon set this up? If he did I swear to god, I’ll never watch it his show for the first time!
I say all of this to announce, this is where I am. I have TB12 Derangement syndrome. I’m very close to the point that I just want it to be over. We are 7 days away from the start of the March 16th legal tampering period, where terms like “Trent Brown INTENDS to sign a 4-year $66 million deal” seconds into the 48-hour window that other teams can legally negotiate with any impending free agent before the official start of the new league year on March 18th.
If the new league year starts on the 18th, without Tom Brady signing a new deal in New England and actually does test the free agent market, it will cost the Patriots $13m. If he signs a new deal then it could only cost the Patriots $6m against the cap. It is in the best interest of the Patriots, Tom Brady and my sanity for a deal to happen before the start of the new league year on March 18th.
If not, then well, I just don’t know. We’re headed to territory that even fortune cookies can’t predict.