One Boston radio host is sure about one thing — Tom Brady isn’t going to be wearing a Patriots jersey this year.
“I believe the Patriots are 100 percent done,” retired Patriots tight end Christian Fauria said of Brady on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria.” “I think the Patriots are okay and ready to move on.”
That came after Fauria, a former teammate of Brady’s, said he believes there’s a “99.6 percent” chance that Brady leaves New England.
Brady will become a free agent for the first time in his 20-year career if he and the Patriots cannot agree on a new contract by March 18. The team is unable to apply the franchise tag on him due to a stipulation in his most recent contract extension.
After earning $23 million in 2019, according to Spotrac, the 42-year old signal-caller stands to earn at least $30 million on the crowded quarterback free-agent market. Fauria doesn’t think the Patriots are going to offer him that or anything close.
“I think the Patriots knew they weren’t signing him before the season started,” Fauria said. “I don’t think they want him for $13 million, I don’t think they want him period, and I think that Brady knows it. Why do you like a tweet from the LA Chargers?”
Fauria is referring to the latest social media smoke signal sent by Brady, who has been extremely cryptic since the Patriots’ season ended abruptly in the wild-card round against the Titans. His theory, however, runs contrary to a report ahead of the Super Bowl from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
“Everything that comes out from Ian Rapoport is just bogus-ness,” he said. “It’s fake, it’s narrative changing, it’s camouflage, it’s not the truth because there’s going to be ‘it’s not our fault’ fans. They know Brady’s not coming back.”
Fauria responded to the publishing of this story by reiterating that “This is my personal OPINION.”
The Brady family also relocated to their $9 million Greenwich, Conn., home earlier this year after listing their property in Brookline, Mass. The move sparked even more rumors that a Brady departure could be in the cards.
“I feel good about this one,” Fauria said. “I mean, think about it, I actually believe Mike Giardi. I believe there is a house. I believe that Tom Brady is no different than Philip Rivers. They’re living the same life. … Philip Rivers is a free agent now, Tom Brady will be a free agent [soon].”
If Brady does enter free agency, his list of potential suitors would be extensive. The Los Angeles Chargers, who officially moved on from Rivers this week, and the Las Vegas Raiders are both expected to make pitches. Some have speculated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys could even be landing spots for the veteran quarterback.
“Next time he shows up at Gillette Stadium, it will be either as a guest playing for another team, or getting a red jacket,” Fauria said.
Wherever he ends up, Brady’s priorities have been made clear.
“He wants to see the team spend on some weapons” and ultimately wants to be with “a talented team that could win now,” Rapoport said on Feb. 2.