By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Tom Brady has an uncertain future with the Patriots as he plays through what's technically a contract year. And he's reportedly doing it amid frustration about uncertainty over who's catching the ball.
Anything to inject some drama into a 7-0 team, I suppose.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport said on the NFL Network Sunday that Brady is frustrated with the recent turnover at wide receiver, which included the signing and quick release of Antonio Brown and the decision to place Josh Gordon on injured reserve despite having a minor injury, which effectively means his time as a Patriot is over.
Rapoport described his report as Brady spending "so much time" getting both Brown and Gordon up to speed in the Pats' offense and being frustrated that the work was all for naught in the end besides a few regular season wins. That's a little hard to believe in the case of Brown, who was only on the Patriots' roster for 11 days. Gordon did spend nearly a full calendar year in New England and ultimately fizzled out, for reasons that remain something of a mystery. Gordon will reportedly be healthy within 1-2 weeks, and at that point the Patriots will need to waive him off injured reserve.
From @NFLGameDay: If #Patriots QB Tom Brady sounds different these days, there is a reason... he's not thrilled with the turnover at WR. Which makes sense, as Brady has invested a ton of time in helping WRs Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon get right, and both have been jettisoned. pic.twitter.com/oV6S51Ac5x
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 27, 2019
So Brady is now left with having to get yet another receiver up to speed in former Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu. But the two certainly sound like they're already building a strong connection. Ultimately Sanu should prove to be a much better fit in the offense than Gordon ever was, and much more reliable and durable than him or Brown.
It's easy to get frustrated with that kind of turnover, but it certainly doesn't mean it's so bad that Brady wants to leave the Patriots altogether. He'll have that option with his contract as currently constituted, so the speculation will continue throughout this season and into next March until Brady makes his decision for 2020.
But as Adam Schefter reported on Sunday - as if it even needed to be said - that Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft remain the Patriots' greatest advantage over any and every other NFL team. Schefter also heard from a source that Brady and Belichick's working relationship is "terrific" right now.
As long as Brady's future beyond the 2019 season is unknown, reports like these will continue to come out. Perhaps on a weekly basis. Schefter has been on a full-blown media tour with his latest takes. He always sounds adamant that staying in New England is the least likely outcome for Brady, and that playing for another team, as well as retirement, are more likely.
We'll find out in March. For now, Brady has another game to win. Then another. Then more, preferably on the way to a seventh Super Bowl win.
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 [email protected].