By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
Appearing on ESPN’s ‘Get Up’ program Thursday morning, the NFL’s chief insider Adam Schefter was asked about the timeline regarding the Patriots contract talks with quarterback Tom Brady. Here’s the full clip (h/t Casey Baker, Twitter)...
Schefter with a TB12 update: "I don't believe the Patriots are waiting until March 16 to get an answer from Tom Brady... They're not going to let him go to free agency, sign with Team X, and then on March 20, say 'Well, what do we do at QB now?'
Schefter makes a good point regarding the team’s urgency. The Patriots have multiple motives to resolve Brady’s contract (one way or the other) as quickly as possible. First, there is the issue of his dead cap money, a result of the two “bogus years” at the back end of his last contract. If Brady re-signs with the Patriots before the March 18th deadline, his dead cap hit of $13.5 million will be spread out over the next two years, meaning he'd count for $6.75 million against the 2020 cap, on top of whatever deal he signs (and then another $6.75M in 2021). If he signs a contract on or after March 18th, whether or not it’s with the Patriots, they'll be on the hook for the full $13.5 million next season.
There is also the issue of roster construction. If the Patriots wait around for Brady, they will run out of options to replace him if he does leave, like what happened with Rob Gronkowski last spring.
So now back to Schefter. The "I don't believe" at the beginning of his statement provides an interesting context. Clearly what he is saying is not a hard conclusion to reach using basic logic. Is critical thinking all he used to reach this point, essentially giving out a take? Is it an educated guess, relying on scraps of information he’s picked up? Or, does he have a direct line to Foxborough, telling him their deadline for Brady is March 16, the beginning of the NFL’s legal tampering period?
Between Robert Kraft’s comment yesterday and now Schefter this morning, the Brady speculation has hit a new peak. Getting sick of it? Don’t worry, there are only 55 days left until the league new year.
Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth