With the NFL draft hype officially reaching a fever pitch, the discussion surrounding current NFL players should logistically be at an all time low. In New England however, that isn’t the case at all.
The past few months have seen endless speculation on Rob Gronkowski’s status, and today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter provided an update on a quiet but lingering storyline surrounding Tom Brady:
Patriots’ QB Tom Brady still has not committed to playing in 2018, even though people who know him believe he will back coming season, league sources told ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 18, 2018
There are obviously a few qualifiers here, the most clear one being the inside sources on the situation believing that he’ll come back. However, there are some factors that make this is an interesting development.
First, consider the brand and image Tom Brady has built on and off the field over the last several seasons. That is, a team first guy who doesn’t want to create distractions, and consistently harps on his interest in playing into his mid 40’s.
Secondly, the smoke that was coming out of Foxborough in relation to a rift between Brady, Robert Kraft, and Bill Belichick is starting to look like an all out fire. Rumors have persisted that Brady hasn’t been happy with Belichick, and that Belichick’s handling of the Malcolm Butler situation only added on that frustration.
PFT’s Mike Florio has speculated based upon some things that he’s heard that a potential Brady retirement would simply happen out of the blue due to the all time great not wanting a Peyton Manning/Derek Jeter-esque farewell tour. This would line up with his team first mentality, but it’s still unclear why he wouldn’t have already hung them up if that was what the hold up actually is.
Regardless, as interesting as all of this is, it’s still just speculation. If he were to suddenly step out of the picture, it would give a heck of a lot of credence to the reports that have been linking the Pats to a play for a high level draft quarterback.
It would also open up the top of the AFC for the first time in almost 20 years, potentially creating room for a certain AFC North team to get back into the playoff picture. Sure, it’s a speculative report... but we can dream can’t we?