Patriots

Curran: Brady's waffling is a little wearying

Curran: Brady's waffling is a little wearying

Somebody needs to tug on Tom Brady’s sleeve and let him know that fun’s fun, but he’s drifting into Brett Favre territory now.

Forty-eight hours hadn’t passed since the Oprah Orchard Interview in which Brady said his retirement was coming “sooner rather than later” and there he was on Instagram Tuesday afternoon insinuating in Spanish that he’s back to playing until he’s 45

Given that he’s 40 right now and his contract expires at the end of the 2019 season, 45 seems like later not sooner.

That’s standard fare this offseason.

There was Couch Brady in the Super Bowl aftermath, wondering what he’s doing it for anyway.

We had Robert Kraft in May saying that “as recently as two days ago [Brady)] assured me he’d be willing to play six, seven more years.

MORE TOM E. CURRAN

Gotham Chopra, who produced TvT, said in March, “I think this idea that he’s going to play for four or five more seasons -- I mean, this is just me, the guy who has been around him for a while now -- I’d have a hard time envisioning that, to be candid. But we’ll see.”

Last month, Brady said he’s negotiated “two more seasons” with his wife, Gisele Bundchen.

During TvT, he said he was chasing “two more Super Bowls. That can be shorter than five or six years.” 

Brady’s agent, Don Yee, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter "Tom's intentions have not changed. He's consistently said he'll play beyond this contract and into his mid-40s, or until he feels he isn't playing at a championship level. I understand the constant speculation, but this is one point he's been firm about."

I’m not feeling the firm. Nor, it seems, are most people who have grown weary of the ping-ponging expiration dates Brady keeps floating.

I think you have to be either absent-minded or amazingly entitled to say with a straight face that Brady “owes” the Patriots, the fanbase or the media a hard answer on his retirement.

The guy has generated billions of dollars for the franchise. He’s provided 37 games -- more than three seasons -- of postseason football for the fans to revel in. He’s created almost two decades worth of content for us in the media to gravy train off of.

Until this past calendar year, Brady hasn’t outwardly put his family or personal “brand” anywhere near the top of the pedestal where football and the Patriots resided.

Now that he’s done so, some people (read: “morons”) don’t merely consider it jarring, they feel it rises to a betrayal of the bygone Brady, of Simple Tom and The Patriot Way, which was always a naïve concept anyway.

MORE CURRAN

Fortunately, Brady has a ways to go to match Favre’s Hamlet routine.

The former Packers quarterback started noodling about retirement after the 2005 season. Same thing after 2006. After the 2007 season -- in March of 2008 -- he actually announced his retirement.

Annnnnd by July he’d changed his mind and wanted back in. The Packers, with Aaron Rodgers more than ready to succeed Favre, told Favre to screw. He did. Favre played three more seasons with the Jets and Vikings, then retired. The three-year post-Green Bay wandering hardly seemed worth it and the annual “is he in or is he out?” conversation was a tedious exercise.

By comparison, Brady has years of waffling to go. But he’s definitely come out of the blocks fast with crazy promises of longevity.

Last May, barely 13 months ago, Brady was telling ESPN’s Ian O’Connor that he didn’t see why he shouldn’t keep playing past 45 if he still felt good.

“I’ve always said my mid-40s,” Brady said. "And naturally that means around 45. If I get there and I still feel like I do today, I don't see why I wouldn't want to continue."

And 50? Why not?

"If you said 50, then you can say 60, too, then 70,” Brady said in the same interview. “I think 45 is a pretty good number for right now. I know the effort it takes to be 40. ... My love for the sport will never go away. I don't think at 45 it will go away. At some point, everybody moves on. Some people don't do it on their terms. I feel I want it to be on my terms.”

MORE PATRIOTS

That interview was one of a handful Brady did with the aim being to promote the TB12 Method. There was ESPN, Sports Illustrated, the book, the app and the Tom vs. Time docuseries, which began filming last summer. Having won his fifth ring, the time was right to maximize visibility. If that approach ran contrary to Patriots customs, well . . . sorry. What’s the worst that can happen?

How about a poorly-concealed, season-long pissing contest in which Brady was assailed for having changed and the coaching staff was assailed for being restrictive and unreasonable?

Which spawned Contemplative Tom, sitting on his couch during the final installment of TvT pondering what he’s doing it all for. 

I’m not sure Brady really appreciates how big this story -- his ultimate retirement -- truly is. Not just here but to sport in general. He should; he grew up rooting for Joe Montana. He understands Jordan and Tiger and Kobe.

Just before the Super Bowl, he was asked about retiring and he replied, “Why does everyone want me to retire?”

Was he being disingenuous? Or does he not get that his and the Patriots stranglehold on the NFL isn’t like Jordan’s on the NBA. It’s closer to Godzilla’s on Japan, and that every other NFL team and fanbase is counting the seconds until he walks.

That’s why every throat-clearing, every pause, every social media “like” is scrutinized for clues as to which way he’s ultimately leaning.

Maybe he doesn’t care. “Take Nothing Personal” is one of The Four Agreements. But the mixed messages -- over a period of time -- probably don’t help the brand.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

NFL Rumors: Patriots have spoken with WR Terrelle Pryor

NFL Rumors: Patriots have spoken with WR Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor is ready to attempt an NFL comeback, and the New England Patriots apparently have expressed some interest in giving him a shot.

The 31-year-old quarterback-turned-wide receiver last played in 2018 when he spent two games with the Buffalo Bills and six with the New York Jets. Last November, he suffered serious injuries to his shoulder and chest in a stabbing incident that put his career in jeopardy.

With that scary event behind him, Pryor has resumed working to get back onto the field and he says he has been in contact with five NFL teams -- namely the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

"Those two are very intriguing," Pryor told TMZ Sports. "Especially Cam [Newton]. I've been a big fan of him throughout the years ... And, obviously, Big Ben [Roethlisberger], that's my hometown of Pittsburgh, so that's just two teams that I really want to play for."

"I can still play," Pryor added. "And, I can still make plays and dominate. I know that."

Watch below:

It's been a while since Pryor has been a productive receiver. His most notable season came in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns, when he hauled in 77 catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns.

It wouldn't hurt the Patriots to bring in Pryor on the cheap, especially since they recently created major cap space. New England's wide receiver depth chart is a bit thin heading into training camp with Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, N'Keal Harry, Marqise Lee, Damiere Byrd, and Jakobi Meyers currently on the squad among others who will compete for roles on the 53-man roster.

Ex-Panthers player says Cam Newton with Bill Belichick is 'terrifying'

Ex-Panthers player says Cam Newton with Bill Belichick is 'terrifying'

A healthy Cam Newton at quarterback is an exciting thought for New England Patriots fans, but a "terrifying" one for players across the league.

Newton clearly has a chip on his shoulder as he returns from an injury-plagued 2019 to compete for the Patriots' starting job. The 2015 NFL MVP already has posted multiple hype videos and social media posts emphasizing his motivation as he begins his new chapter.

If Newton indeed is at full strength in 2020, that could spell trouble for the rest of the league. New York Jets guard Greg Van Roten, who spent five years with Newton on the Carolina Panthers, explained on SiriusXM NFL Radio why Newton joining forces with head coach Bill Belichick could be a serious problem for opponents.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

"It's definitely terrifying to think if Cam Newton's healthy and he's in Belichick's offense, you know, in my division, it could be a long year for the other teams, because he's a game-changer," Van Roten said. "He came into the league, you know, he's a league MVP, brought a team to the Super Bowl – he's just built differently than a lot of quarterbacks. And he's a headache to game plan for.

"So when he's healthy, you can stop the run from him, but then you gotta defend the pass. If you can stop the pass, well then you've got to account for the run. So, it's basically, pick one thing and he'll do the other. And then you couple him with Belichick, who only cares about winning and Cam really wants to prove himself, so it's definitely a recipe for disaster for the rest of the league if they can figure it out."

Watch the full clip below:

Newton still will have plenty to prove once training camp comes around, but the three-time Pro Bowler has wasted no time getting up to speed with the Patriots offense. Last week, Newton posted a photo of himself studying the Pats' playbook and also spent some time working out with second-year wide receiver N'Keal Harry.

With a motivated Newton ready to learn under arguably the greatest head coach of all time, it's easy to see why opposing teams are petrified of what the duo can accomplish together.