The GIST: It’s been a month since the NFL season ended, and the question on everyone’s mind is: where will legendary quarterback (QB) Tom Brady play next season? And with free agency just two weeks away, we’re oh so close to finding out an answer. The suspense is killing us, too.
Remind me, what’s free agency?: When a player’s contract expires, they become a free agent and are able to sign with a new team (or the same one, if they want). In most professional sports, all player contracts expire on the same date. NFL free agency begins on Wednesday, March 18th, so as of that day, players whose contracts expired after the 2019–20 season are free to sign anywhere.
Got it, so tell me about Tom Brady: Tom has played for the New England Patriots for his entire mind-blowing 20-season career, winning six Super Bowls (the most of any player) along the way. But the 42-year-old’s contract is set to expire (technically, he signed with the team until 2021, but that contract was just for weird money reasons and will be void as of March 18th) and if the Pats don’t sign him before March 18th (which is highly unlikely) then we might have to get used to seeing Tom in a new jersey come September.
Okay. So, where will Tom play next season?: Nice try. We’re good, but we’re not that good. Brady has kept very tightlipped about his future, and even though he’ll turn 43 in August, he has said he will play one more season in the NFL. But (cover your eyes, Pats fans) it’s not looking good for a New England return.
- Just this weekend, Brady and Pats wide receiver Julian Edelman were at a college basketball game together, and when Edelman assured fans on-camera, “He’s coming back!” Brady gave a super uncomfortable smile and shook his head. So we guess that leaves 31 other possibilities...
Any other big name free agents?: If it weren’t for Mr. Bundchen hogging the spotlight, Philip Rivers would be the top free agent. Rivers was the QB for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (they changed locations in 2017) since 2004 and started every regular season game since 2006. Whoa.
- At the end of the season, the Chargers said they wouldn’t re-sign Rivers, but the father of nine (!!!) believes he still has one more good year in him (he’s 38, BTW). Despite six career playoff appearances, he’s yet to win a Super Bowl, so this season will be his all-or-nothing.
Any other news?: Always. The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) board of representatives has decided that its membership (aka all NFL players, about 2,000 of them) will vote on the proposed collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Many big-name players have been actively opposing the proposal, but the NFL needs only a majority to pass the agreement. No date has been set yet for when Jeff Probst will tally the votes, but we’ll let you know.