Tom Brady announced on Tuesday that he will not be re-signing with the New England Patriots, and all indications are that the decision came after Bill Belichick made it clear he was indifferent about the six-time Super Bowl champion returning.
Multiple reports over the last several weeks claimed the Patriots had made little to no progress in contract negotiations with Brady, and Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports says New England never made a “tangible effort” to keep the 42-year-old. Belichick essentially left the ball in Brady’s court the entire time, and it sounds like that helped pushed Brady out the door.
In the end, a tangible effort by the Patriots to keep Tom Brady in New England never happened. No negotiation. Just the intimation that it was on Brady to say what he wanted. For Brady, that stance spoke volumes.
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) March 17, 2020
Belichick has always preferred to part ways with players a bit early rather than too late, and in the end he treated Brady no differently from past Patriots like Lawyer Milloy, Richard Seymour and Vince Wilfork. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe was told the Patriots made Brady an offer and “he didn’t want it,” and that was the end of the negotiation.
Source: "They gave Tom a number. He didn't want it."
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) March 17, 2020
In other words, Belichick was probably willing to bring Brady back for one year on a contract the coach felt was appropriate for a soon-to-be 43-year-old quarterback whose skills are clearly in decline. If Brady wanted to be compensated for and/or praised for his past accomplishments, he was always going to have an easier time getting that treatment from another team.
It seems like Belichick is simply ready to begin rebuilding. As for Brady, he reportedly has hefty offers from at least two teams, though he could take some time to see if the market changes at all now that he has committed to not returning to New England.
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The Bears, Lions and Titans were on a bye during Week 3, so the starting QBs from Week 2 are listed below.