Hours after a photo of Tom Brady sparked more speculation about his uncertain future, the Patriots legend said he is “open-minded” about playing for another team next season.
“I’m open-minded about the process,” Brady said Sunday in his weekly interview with Westwood One radio, when asked if he would consider leaving the only franchise he’s ever suited up for. “At the same time, I love playing football and I want to continue to play and do a great job. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. Whatever the future may bring, I’ll embrace it with open arms.”
Brady is eligible to enter free agency in March for the first time in his 20-year career, and has said he wants to continue playing.
As to where the 42-year-old future Hall of Famer will end up has been the biggest story outside of the NFL playoffs, where the Patriots stunningly lost to the sixth-seeded Titans in the wild-card round.
CBS reported Brady will meet with teams during free agency and the rumor mill was fanned after a photo showed smiling Brady chatting with Raiders owner Mark Davis on Saturday at UFC 246 in Las Vegas.
The Raiders, who are embarking on their first season in Las Vegas, aren’t believed to be sold on current quarterback Derek Carr and could hope to lure the six-time Super Bowl champ.
That Brady and his family also moved into a $9 million Greenwich, Conn., home after previously listing their 10,000-square-foot mansion in Brookline, Mass. has also led many to believe he won’t be a Patriot next season.
Brady to date has made just over $235 million with the Patriots, and owner Robert Kraft seems willing to pay more to keep his franchise quarterback.
“My hope and prayer is number one, he plays for the Patriots,” Kraft told NBC Sports. “Or number two, he retires. He has the freedom to decide what he wants to do and what’s in his own best personal interest.”
While Brady wasn’t as dominant this past season, alongside an uninspiring supporting cast, there is belief he could still help a contender.
Should Brady and the Patriots part ways, New England could turn to backup Jarrett Stidham, who impressed teammates during practice as a rookie last season.