Patriots

Patriots Talk Podcast: Big market for Tom Brady 'could get wild,' says Mike Florio

Patriots Talk Podcast: Big market for Tom Brady 'could get wild,' says Mike Florio

It's no secret that Tom Brady could end up playing somewhere other than New England next season.

The veteran quarterback not only wants to be paid the kind of money other elite QBs are pulling in, but he could also use an upgrade on the targets he'll be throwing to if he wants a successful playoff run -- and possibly his seventh Super Bowl title.

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It'll be difficult, though, for the Patriots to satisfy Brady and their other free agents while also bringing in some help from the open market.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio joins Tom Curran's latest Patriots Talk Podcast to discuss New England's cap situation as well as how the free-agent market for TB12 "could get wild."

"Well, they're paying top of the market on Stephon Gilmore, paying hefty on [Devin] McCourty," Curran responded to Florio's question on the Patriots cap space. "It's that middle class that chews it up, plus they have $9 million wrapped up in Antonio Brown. So, they're still $29 million under the cap right now -- according to my best source -- a guy in Miguel Benzan [a.k.a. @patscap on Twitter] who projects as well what numbers will be. They're not up against it, but up against it relative to bringing in Tom Brady, maintaining Kyle Van Noy, maintaining Joe Thuney, they're up against it."

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While they are up against the wall, it was reported that the Patriots would be willing to pay Brady upwards of $30 million a year to keep him in New England. Florio notes that the money isn't the problem -- the problem could be Bill Belichick.

"It's not about the money as much as it is about what does Tom want to do and whether he takes less to go somewhere else or less to stay with the Patriots," Florio said. "It's more about what he wants at this point of his career. And I'm a firm believer, and I think we saw the reports around Super Bowl weekend that the Patriots are willing to pay him more than $30 million a year.

"Well, Robert Kraft is willing to authorize the writing of the check... it still comes down to what Bill Belichick wants to do and I don't think Kraft is going to tell him 'thou shall keep Tom Brady' if Bill Belichick doesn't want to keep Tom Brady or doesn't want to offer the kind of money that would be necessary to get Tom Brady to say 'I choose to continue my career with the New England Patriots.' I think it's going to take a lot for him to leave."

So, we're a month away from the culmination of THE story of the NFL offseason, particularly in New England. If the Patriots won't give Brady what he wants, who will?

Whether it's the Chargers, the Raiders, the Cowboys, the Titans, the Dolphins, the Jets, the Giants -- it's not as crazy as it sounds," Florio said. "And I think any team that doesn't have a quarterback under a big-money contract or has a young guy like [the Giants'} Daniel Jones who could be told, 'Hey, take a seat, we got Tom Brady.' I'm telling you, man, it could get wild. It could get very wild.

Will the Patriots lock up the QB who'll be 43 by the time next season starts before Florio's "wild" prediction comes true? There's been no movement so far. 

Meanwhile, the rumors of other Brady destinations swirl. The Tennessee Titans offer the power running of Derrick Henry - who dominated the Patriots and made them a one-and-done playoff team - as a complement to Brady.  Even the four-win New York Giants boast a top back in Saquon Barkley as well as Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate to throw to. The Raiders are rumored to be ready to welcome Brady to Las Vegas with a two-year, $60 million deal. 

Earlier in the pod, Curran's colleague Phil Perry joints the salary cap discussion and breaks down what the draft could have to offer for wide receivers and safeties. It's all in this week's Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston's Podcast Network. 

Rex Ryan says Tom Brady, not Bill Belichick, was the key to Patriots dynasty

Rex Ryan says Tom Brady, not Bill Belichick, was the key to Patriots dynasty

It's a question we'll never get a definitive answer to. Who was more important to the New England Patriots in their 20-year dynasty, Tom Brady or Bill Belichick?

That debate will only heat up once Brady begins his new chapter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In fact, it was mentioned to Brady on Wednesday during his interview with Howard Stern on SiriusXM, and the ex-Pats quarterback called it a "sh---y argument."

Still, the argument was made shortly thereafter by Rex Ryan on ESPN's "First Take." The former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach says it was Brady, not Belichick, who was the key to New England's six Super Bowl titles.

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“It was definitely Tom Brady,” Ryan said. “If I’ve got to take one I’m taking Brady.”

“Let’s give [Belichick] somebody else, let’s give him [former Jets quarterback] Geno Smith, let’s give him whoever, and let’s see how many Super Bowls he would have won. We saw the answer was zero in Cleveland.”

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Ryan actually makes a fair point, although there certainly seems to be some saltiness on his part since Geno Smith was his QB from 2013-14. Smith didn't take too kindly to his former coach's remarks, either.

Although we'll never know how Brady's Pats career would have gone without Belichick and vice versa, 2020 will be a true test for both New England icons. Brady will look to prove he can duplicate his success in Tampa with Bruce Arians as his head coach, and Belichick will look to do the same likely with Jarrett Stidham under center.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Stephen Gostkowski on Patriots career, quarantine life and what the future holds

Patriots Talk Podcast: Stephen Gostkowski on Patriots career, quarantine life and what the future holds

The New England Patriots ended an era last month when they parted ways with longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

Gostkowski took over for Adam Vinatieri as the Patriots' kicker in 2006 and went on to help New England earn three Super Bowl titles. The 36-year-old has four Pro Bowl selections in his career and is a two-time first-team All-Pro.

In 2019, Gostkowski missed most of the season after he was placed on injured reserve. While it obviously isn't how he hoped his Patriots career would come to an end, there's no taking away his contributions to the team's success over the course of its dynasty.

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So now that his Pats career is over, where does Gostkowski go from here? He caught up with Tom E. Curran on the latest Patriots Talk Podcast to discuss.

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Gostkowski makes it clear he plans on playing in 2020, as long as the coronavirus pandemic doesn't lead to the season's cancellation.

I'm not ready to just hang it up. I'm gonna try to play. It's going to be tough to show teams what I can do right now or work out or do a physical, but I'm not too worried about it. I'm not concerned. I kind of take things day by day.

I feel good. I'm starting to feel better. I'm trying to keep getting in better and better shape and I've probably done more so far this year as I would heading into a normal season so I feel like I'm ahead of where I usually am and I have nothing but time.

Along with discussing the future, Gostkowski also took some time to reflect on the past.

We've been so successful as a team, there's nothing for me to complain about...We have had it really good and finally being done with the Patriots it's fun to actually look back at it and be able to talk about it in a positive way.

Because when you're in it and in the mode, you can never like, sit back and pat yourself on the back or talk about how good it was because you'd win, get drunk at the parade and after that you're like, 'OK, can't talk about it anymore.' It's fun to look back and everything I look back at is all positive memories.

Gostkowski also chats with Curran about what he's been up to while quarantining, Tom Brady's departure from the Patriots, and much more. Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network or on YouTube.