New England Patriots

Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft after the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Training camp may be on the horizon for the Patriots, as is Tom Brady’s 42nd birthday. But what’s apparently not imminent is a new contract for the quarterback.

Tom Pelissero reported on the NFL Network Monday (via NFL.com) that “no new deal is on the horizon at this point” for Brady. The six-time Super Bowl champion turns 42 on August 3 and has never begun a season in the final year of his contract.

Brady has also never earned more than $19 million in total cash (2014) in a single season. He’s set to earn $15 million in 2019, which ties him for 20th in the NFL. (To be fair, Aaron Rodgers is also one of those guys – but that’s after he made $66 million cash in 2018 as part of a four-year, $134 million extension.)

Cash earnings of $20 million in 2020 would rank Brady 12th in the league, just behind the Broncos’ Joe Flacco.

Jan 20, 2019; Kansas City, MO: New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady celebrate the win over the Kansas City Chiefs during overtime in the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s unclear whether the Patriots are even allowed to extend Brady before Aug. 9, which would mark one year since Brady’s extension last summer. However, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran reported back in March that the two sides weren’t talking contract at that time.

Another angle one could take with this … what if Brady doesn’t want an extension? What if the soon-to-be-42-year-old is comfortable betting on himself and going for a major bounceback season in terms of statistics? Because if Bill Belichick looks at Brady’s declined numbers, and then his age, and then his numbers again, it’s unlikely he wants to pay him like the top-paid QBs in the league anyway. One thing Belichick is never motivated to do is pay for past performance, even with Brady.

That’s all hypothetical and it’s still quite possible that an extension drops during training camp. This isn’t to say that Brady is turning into a stat-padder. It’s just the reality of NFL contracts. If Brady wants to maximize his next deal, then his best move may be to play out 2019 in the hopes of boosting his numbers over last year.

As of Monday, Brady’s contract is a bigger question mark than perhaps it’s ever been in his career. Regardless of who wants what, Brady and the Patriots are nearing uncharted territory.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.