Your guess as to whether Tom Brady is under center for the Patriots in 2020 is as good as mine. It's as good as anybody's. All we know for sure is that he insists he's not retiring and that Tom Brady Sr. is telling everyone Brady the Younger wants to stay and in New England and whether or not he does is entirely up to Bill Belichick. We can all take our best guess, but it's just a guess. Pulled straight out of our asscracks, with no basis for the opinion. Less accurate than Rafiki tossing some feathers and grass around in a turtle shell to prove the king is alive.
But there's one guy who probably does know more than anyone not named Belichick. A guy who shared a meeting room with Brady for four years. And for one season, started over him. Matt Cassel:
Source - If you watch that Titans game, it's not like Brady lost any velocity on his ball or was struggling to make throws. ...
There are a number of reasons why his statistics were down this year: the offensive line, the lack of a running game, the different receivers coming in and out and the youth at that position, to name a few.
I think he can still play at a high level and be one of the best quarterbacks in the league. I also think the Patriots have to evaluate their personnel and surround him with players who will help him.
I think he needs a legitimate No. 1 receiver. I think they have to go out and invest in some tight ends. They also have to get healthy: Losing James Develin early on changed a lot for that offensive unit. ...
I think a big part of these negotiations will be Tom's relationship with Mr. Kraft.
Mr. Kraft has always done right by Tom, and when things needed to get done at certain points in some other negotiations, he's always been a guy that's stepped up, and their relationship has helped seal the deal.
Also, if you look at the landscape of the NFL, I don't think there are many teams that are intriguing for a guy like Tom where you can walk in and win right away. ...
You also have to consider who's going to be calling plays. Brady has been in the same system for 20 years. You may think you want a fresh start with another team, but then it's a completely different offensive structure than what you're used to.
How much give and take are they going to have with the quarterback that comes in? Are they going to allow you to change the entire offense and manipulate it to how you want it? ...
I think Tom Brady will be coming back to the Patriots in 2020, and they'll be firing on all cylinders. ...
So, they'll identify where they need to get better, and from there, they'll go out in free agency and in the draft and do exactly what they need to do.
Hear, hear. Bravo.
That's what I like to hear. And aside from Cassel putting an emphasis on going out and getting a "No. 1 receiver," which sounds like an ex-quarterback talking if I've ever heard it, I couldn't agree more. Yes, a top wideout would be nice. But they've won Super Bowls with less. What they needed at the WR spot is more continuity. They needed a full year out of N'Keal Harry and Mohamed Sanu to have time in this system without an ankle injury in his first couple of weeks and a more reliable fourth option than Phillip Dorsett. But they don't necessarily need to move mountains for some high end Julio Jones or AJ Green type in order to compete for Super Bowl LV-whateverRomannumeral.
But the rest? Spot on. The offensive line was in disarray for most of the season and didn't really begin to gel until the last month. James Develin was a hugely underrated loss. And the utter neglect of the tight end position created a flaw that turned out to fatal.
To Cassel's point, the way Brady looked, moved, read defenses and threw the ball tells me it doesn't make sense to switch quarterbacks now. Not to mention, the man didn't miss a snap due to injury yet again. For the tenth consecutive year. That has got to be the most grossly underappreciated aspect of the greatest career any team sport athlete has ever had. Name another QB you absolutely trust to make it through 16 (and hopefully 19) games in 2020 and I'll consider him. But you can't.
And it makes even less sense for Brady to go at the age of 43 and start all over elsewhere. Even if Josh McDaniels lands in Cleveland, what? Brady's going to go there and take over for Baker Mayfield? In what is already a fairly toxic, underachieving locker room. Now they're going to tie up another $25-$30 million in the quarterback position above what they're already paying Mayfield and expect to win? Or simply trade the face of the franchise for maybe a two-year rental? And why would Brady be interested in replacing Mr. Kraft in his life with that dysfunctional, incompetent goatfuck of an ownership situation?
There's only one solution that makes sense for all involved. And it's what Cassel says. Keep the continuity. Figure out the money situation in a reasonable manner. Add pieces. Do exactly what needs to be done. Fire on all cylinders. Cassel was smart enough to parlay being the backup to two Heisman Trophy winners into a 15-year NFL career. And this just confirms what a man of intelligence he is.