Patriots Talk Podcast: Solving the Tom Brady contract puzzle. Is it even possible?

Patriots Talk Podcast: Solving the Tom Brady contract puzzle. Is it even possible?

We can all attempt to predict what Tom Brady's next move will be as he's set to become a free agent for the first time in his career. But the truth is there are far too many variables for anyone -- even Brady and the New England Patriots -- to know the answer right now.

Tom E. Curran wrote Wednesday about the impasse between Brady and the Pats, noting it's a nearly impossible puzzle to solve. He discussed the subject further with Phil Perry in the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

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Curran explains how the current situation is more complicated than years past:

Robert Kraft already did financially everything he thought he had to do to keep Tom Brady tied up ... They tacked on two more years [onto Brady's contract] in 2016, both of which the Patriots had an option on in case Jimmy Garoppolo stuck around, basically was their ripcord ...

2018 and 2019 they didn't give [Brady] any kind of a bump. When you look at the landscape of the finances, Phil, they're up against it. He got paid $23 million this year and there's bonus money that has to hit the cap.

Perry adds some context to the financials while mentioning a multi-year deal for Brady from the Patriots isn't the most likely scenario.

If he ends up sticking around and they come to an agreement before the new league year hits on March 18, he will have almost $7 million in cap space get tacked onto whatever deal it is that he signs with the team for 2020.

Now, the contract that they sign, it could come in a variety of different forms. He could sign a three-year extension, he could sign a two-year extension, he could just sign the deal that he signed last summer essentially which would just be one year.

I think it's probably pertinent for us, because we could talk about this thing for hours and all the different permutations, to just get out in front and say, Tom I don't think he's getting a multi-year deal from the Patriots. Because he didn't last summer.

For more on the difficult Brady situation, other top Patriots free agents, and whether the Cleveland Browns would be the right fit for Josh McDaniels, check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, which drops every Tuesday and Thursday as a part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

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Cassel: Why Pats will load up with Brady under center in 2020

NFL Rumors: Patriots may ask CB Joejuan Williams to play safety in 2020

NFL Rumors: Patriots may ask CB Joejuan Williams to play safety in 2020

If Joejuan Williams sees significant playing time in 2020, it may not be at his primary position.

The New England Patriots have asked the second-year cornerback to become more versatile on defense this season, posing Williams this challenge, per ESPN's Mike Reiss

"Can you be the jack-of-all-trades in the secondary?"

As Reiss wrote, that could mean Williams staying at cornerback, moving to safety or some combination of both.

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Why move Williams around? The simple reason: New England is stacked at cornerback, with reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore leading a four-man rotation with Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson and Jonathan Jones.

The Patriots also are deep at safety -- Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung are the experienced starters with veteran Adrian Phillips and rookie Kyle Dugger joining as newcomers -- but Williams may be able to carve out a hybrid role as a slot cornerback or roving safety.

New England's second-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt in 2019, the 6-foot-3, 212-pound cornerback could take a cue from McCourty, who spent three NFL seasons as a cornerback before successfully transitioning to safety during the 2012 season.

Williams contributed just one pass defensed in nine games played last season, though, so he if wants to see more action in 2020, he'll need to add more skills to his tool box.

Tom Brady takes shot at Charles Barkley after 'The Match'

Tom Brady takes shot at Charles Barkley after 'The Match'

Tom Brady engaged in plenty of trash-talking with his opponents Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods during "The Match" on Sunday. But they weren't the only ones going back-and-forth with the six-time Super Bowl champion.

NBA legend Charles Barkley was a commentator for the charity golf match and didn't hold back from letting Brady hear all about his lackluster performance through the first few holes. On the seventh hole, however, the ex-New England Patriots quarterback birdied a par-5 with what was unquestionably the best shot of the day to silence Barkley. 

The real mic drop from Brady came after the match, though, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB jabbed Barkley for his inability to win a championship during his NBA career.

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Boom, roasted.

Of course, the trash-talking was all just good fun. And it provided phenomenal entertainment while those involved in "The Match" helped raise more than $20 million to go toward COVID-19 relief efforts.