NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran dropped a whopper and a half on Wednesday night by suggesting that both quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski could opt to leave the New England Patriots after the 2019 season.
On Thursday night, Mike Giardi of The NFL Network joined The Adam Jones Show to touch on all things Patriots, including the impending doom of Brady and Gronkowski potentially leaving the Patriots in the dust at the conclusion of their contracts.
“I think a lot of what Brady does and where it goes is tied to age, performance, and is Bill Belichick still here and what’s the nature of their relationship,” Giardi told Jones and Christian Arcand. “I think if Tom was playing well and Bill decided to walk away and Josh [McDaniels] was in line to be the coach [of the Patriots], I don’t think Tom would leave.”
McDaniels, of course, was slated to leave his post as the Patriots’ quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator to join the Indianapolis Colts as their new head coach before Robert Kraft and the Patriots stepped in as the 11th hour. To convince McDaniels to stay, it’s believed that the Patriots signed McDaniels to a new contract that pays him head coach money.
He’s also considered Brady’s closest friend within the coaching staff.
“They’re best buddies,” Giardi said of the relationship between Brady and McDaniels. “It’s clearly part of the reason why Josh is back is so that the Krafts have that little wiggle room there with Belichick and a buffer for Brady.”
Both Brady and Gronkowski went through a quest for more appreciation from the Patriot front office this offseason, and both had numerous, performance-based incentives added to their contracts prior to the start of the 2018 regular season.
And while everything seems fine as of right now — the Brady-to-Gronkowski connection looked sharp as ever and Belichick’s crew largely cruised to a 27-20 win over the Texans in Week 1 — Giardi made it a point to not discredit Curran’s theory.
“Tom [Curran] is very well plugged in, I don’t doubt his instincts on this at all,” Giardi, who worked with Curran prior to his move to NFL Network this summer, said. “I just think there’s so much tied into how Brady plays, and what Bill does, and where their relationship goes, and I don’t think anybody can predict how that’s going to look two, three years from now.”
The complete interview can be heard below.