Robert Kraft

NFL rumors: Why Patriots are willing to let Tom Brady test free agency

NFL rumors: Why Patriots are willing to let Tom Brady test free agency

Tom Brady will be returning for his 21st NFL season. We just don't know where No. 12 will be calling plays in 2020.

The 42-year-old is set to become a free agent in March, and while most expect him to return to the New England Patriots, it's clear he'll have a number of suitors, including the Raiders, vying for his services.

A report leaked on Super Bowl Sunday that Jon Gruden and the Raiders will pursue Brady if he failed to re-sign with the Patriots by the start of the new league season. Most assume Brady and the Patriots will come to terms quickly, but owner Robert Kraft reportedly is willing to let the six-time Super Bowl champion see what's out on the market before coming back to the Patriots with his demands, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Monday, citing sources. 

The Patriots reportedly are willing to offer Brady upward of $30 million a year, but if they aren't able to improve the offensive arsenal around him, he could look to spend his final NFL seasons away from Foxboro, Mass.

If Bill Belichick and Kraft do allow Brady to reach free agency, that could open the door for Gruden, who has a good relationship with Brady, to make his pitch for TB12 to wear silver and black. While it still feels like a long shot, the Patriots allowing Brady to take meetings gives Gruden the opportunity to sell the greatest quarterback in history on becoming a Raider.

A chance is all the Raiders can ask for.

The partnership would make Brady the face of the Las Vegas Raiders, giving the Silver and Black a star to market in their inaugural season in Sin City.  The Raiders do have a dynamic running back in Josh Jacobs, a blossoming star in tight end Darren Waller and reliable slot receiver Hunter Renfrow.

But in order for the Raiders to lure Brady to Vegas, Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock would have to promise to bring in more weapons on the outside to compliment Tyrell Williams, who struggled in his first season with the Raiders. Gruden likely will use one of the Raiders' two first-round picks on a dynamic receiver such as Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb or Alabama's Jerry Jeudy. But with two picks in the top 19, the Raiders could promise to use both picks on young star receivers and patch up their defense in other ways in order to get Brady the arsenal needed to compete in the AFC West.

[RELATED: Carr unfazed by questions about Raiders future, brother says]

Brady moving from New England to Las Vegas isn't likely. They'll be countless NFL teams clamoring for Brady's service once he hits free agency, some more equipped to win immediately than the Raiders. 

But if the Patriots allow Brady to truly hit the open market, it gives Gruden a puncher's chance to bring the GOAT to Sin City.

Antonio Brown apologizes to Patriots, not Raiders, for bad media, drama

Antonio Brown apologizes to Patriots, not Raiders, for bad media, drama

Hey Antonio Brown ... did you forget someone?

The seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver took to Twitter on Tuesday (again) and apologized to the New England Patriots and team owner Robert Kraft:

It appears he left someone out of the tweet, though. Where's Brown's apology to the Raiders?

The laundry list of items AB brought to the Silver and Black range from a case of extreme frostbitten feet to #HelmetGate to an altercation with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock.

[RELATED: Brown's agent confident in AB return]

Just to name a few ... 

Brown was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Raiders in March for two 2019 NFL Draft picks, and despite the excitement at the beginning, he never played a game for Oakland after requesting his release and having his wish granted right before the season opener. 

Apparently he only remembers the headaches he caused in New England, not in Oakland.

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NFL rumors: Antonio Brown's text messages enraged Patriots owner Robert Kraft

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NFL rumors: Antonio Brown's text messages enraged Patriots owner Robert Kraft

In the span of about two weeks, Antonio Brown wore out his welcome with two different NFL teams.

The latest divorce came Friday when the New England Patriots decided enough was enough and released the embattled wide receiver.

The Athletic reported Friday, citing sources, that Brown's harrassing text messages to one of his sexual-assault accusers enraged Patriots owner Robert Kraft so much that he stopped a business trip to call coach Bill Belichick.

Together, Kraft and Belichick decided to cut Brown, The Athletic reported.

In the wake of a story published by Sports Illustrated earlier in the week, Brown sent a series of "intimidating" group text messages to the artist, who came forward for the story. She had been hired by Brown in 2017 to paint a mural of him for his house.

Brown is facing accusations of sexual assault and misconduct from the artist and his former trainer. None of the allegations reportedly were known by the Patriots when they signed Brown two weeks ago.

Earlier in the week, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported, citing a source, that if Kraft had known about the accusations against Brown, he never would have approved the receiver’s signing.

For Kraft, Brown's latest actions were the final straw.

As for the Raiders, owner Mark Davis, coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have to be glad Brown isn't their problem anymore.

[RELATED: NFL issues statement on AB's status]

They rid themselves of the Brown saga two weeks ago, and it's clear they made the right decision.

Brown is talented, but all of his actions over the last few months — not just the recent texts — should enrage everybody.