New England Patriots

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski both remain signed only through the 2019 season. It’s possible that they could both end up in a different uniform after that – even together on the same team. But is it probable?

Ask NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran, one of the most plugged-in reporters in the Patriots organization, and he’ll tell you that the scenario isn’t as crazy as it sounds. He said on Early Edition Wednesday night that the Patriots were already looking toward life without Brady – and that’s not going to change in the spring of 2020, when he’s 42-going-on-43.

“They wanted to find whatever way they could to keep [Jimmy Garoppolo] around whether it was franchising him, a bridge contract, it didn’t work out,” said Curran. “And that was for a 40-year-old Tom Brady. Now [in 2020] he is going to be 43. Do you think they’re going to want to extend him after 2019? No. And I don’t think that Brady will probably want to stick around with any place that doesn’t want him.”

What about Gronkowski, who reportedly told the Patriots he doesn’t want to play with any quarterback other than Brady? Curran believes the possibility remains that they end up going to the same team as a “package deal.”

“If [Brady and Gronkowski] both decide in 2019 they want to continue playing, I would not be the least bit surprised if they went someplace together,” Curran added.

Curran also said that if Brady does ultimately decide after 2019 that he wants to keep playing, but the Patriots are comfortable moving on from him, then it would be “a much more amicable split than we expect.”

The Patriots restructured the contracts of both Brady and Gronkowski before the 2018 season. Each had performance-based incentives added to their current deals, which if reached would push them further up the pay rankings at their positions.

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