Patriots

NFL rumors: Tom Brady's agent, Don Yee, expected to meet with Patriots at NFL Combine

NFL rumors: Tom Brady's agent, Don Yee, expected to meet with Patriots at NFL Combine

The New England Patriots are facing unusual uncertainty at quarterback this offseason.

Tom Brady is set to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his 20-year NFL career and it seems legitimately possible that he may not return to the Patriots. At the moment, it's unclear where he'll end up and there won't likely settle on a landing spot until mid-March.

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But as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport pointed out Monday on NFL Now, the Patriots are expected to have some more conversations with Brady and his agent, Don Yee, during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week.

Though (Brady and Yee) have had some conversations with the Patriots since the Super Bowl, the playoffs, and all that, they haven’t really gotten into any hard-core negotiations. It is possible that begins here in Indianapolis. The two sides are expected to meet as, of course, every agent and every team meets. It should be the starting off point for real dialogue over the course of the next month. Either way, nothing's expected to happen until right up in the cusp of free agency. At that point, all sides should know what Brady’s plans are.

These rumors at least demonstrate that the Patriots are doing what they can to speak with Brady ahead of free agency. And as Tom E. Curran said Monday on NBC Sports Boston's Boston Sports Tonight, it makes sense for the team to do this.

It makes sense that they get after it now because the guy's going to be a free agent in less than a month. And you better start moving forward with 'Okay, Tom, what do you want? Here are the things we're planning to do. Are you in, or are you out?' and then start talking numbers.

Curran went on to say he "wouldn't imagine [the meeting] to be climactic" if it does, in fact, happen. So, for those hoping that the Patriots will be able to lock up Brady ahead of free agency, it still seems highly unlikely to happen barring a change of heart.

Brady will officially become an unrestricted free agent on March 18 and he is unlikely to last long on the open market. Though the 2020 free agent quarterback class is loaded, Brady still tops the bunch because of his history of high-level play and ability to win championships.

 

NFL Rumors: Tom Brady was 'Belichick'd out' after 20 years with Patriots

NFL Rumors: Tom Brady was 'Belichick'd out' after 20 years with Patriots

Since Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two weeks ago, there's been plenty of speculation about why he made the stunning decision to end his New England Patriots tenure.

Perhaps it's as simple as Brady wanting a change of scenery after 20 years in Foxboro. Or maybe it was about the Patriots' lack of offensive firepower, which was evident throughout the 2020 campaign.

New England didn't exactly go all out to keep their six-time Super Bowl champion QB, either. As our own Tom E. Curran has noted, the Patriots made it clear to Brady over the last few years they weren't in it with him for the long-haul anymore.

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Another popular theory, however, is Brady had enough of Bill Belichick's strict coaching style. ESPN's Ian O'Connor added fuel to that fire Sunday in an article that documents the Buccaneers' pursuit of Brady in free agency. O'Connor notes Brady was "Belichick'd out" after 20 years and wanted to play for a player's coach like Bruce Arians.

Here's the full excerpt from O'Connor's piece:

Measured against Belichick, Arians is a stand-up comic with a funny-looking cap and a strange way of managing defeat. "Win or lose, we booze," is Arians' oft-stated philosophy. Though people close to Brady believe that he was looking for a little more humanity in his coaching ("Tom was Belichick'd out after 20 years," said one friend), and that Arians' let's-grab-a-couple-beers-and-sneak-in-nine-holes approach will be a welcome change, some league officials who know all parties wonder how Brady will adjust to a head coach who doesn't quite match Belichick's maniacal hours or attention to detail.

Arians' style is a complete 180 from Belichick's, so it's certainly going to be interesting to see how Brady fits in an entirely different environment. It'll either be a breath of fresh air for the 42-year-old QB, or he'll soon find out that the grass is always greener on the other side.

As for how Belichick and the Patriots will proceed without Brady, that remains to be seen. As of now, it looks like they'll roll with 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham. They also have veteran Brian Hoyer in the QB room (again) and could look to add another young arm via the 2020 NFL Draft.

Watch Rob Gronkowski's wild intro as WrestleMania 36 host

Watch Rob Gronkowski's wild intro as WrestleMania 36 host

Rob Gronkowski may be done with football, but he continues to find ways to entertain us on our television screens.

The former New England Patriots tight end is hosting WrestleMania 36 this weekend alongside WWE star Mojo Rawley. And as one would expect, Gronk brought the energy to start off the two-night event.

“[WWE] picked the right guy [to host WrestleMania], because I know how to start a party on a Saturday night and end it 30 hours later," Gronk quipped in his introduction.

Watch below:

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Between the WWE and his various other ventures, Gronkowski seemingly has been everywhere these last few weeks. He appeared on SmackDown, was revealed as White Tiger in "The Masked Singer," and participated in a virtual beer pong tournament for coronavirus relief.

In other words, retirement seems to be treating the future Pro Football Hall of Famer well.