Patriots

Rod Woodson sends powerful message to Robert Kraft about Tom Brady's free agency

Rod Woodson sends powerful message to Robert Kraft about Tom Brady's free agency

Tom Brady's pending free agency is a delicate situation.

The New England Patriots quarterback rightly wants to get paid what he's worth after years of playing at below market value. But the Patriots may not be able to pay Brady what he wants in 2020 and still field a competitive roster around him.

Rod Woodson sees things a bit more cut-and-dry.

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The former Oakland Raiders defensive back and Pro Football Hall of Famer joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak & Bertand" on Tuesday and cut right to the chase about how Patriots owner Robert Kraft should approach Brady's free agency.

"I would be shocked -- shocked -- if Robert Kraft said, 'Go ahead Tom, leave,' " Woodson told "Zolak & Bertand" from Radio Row in Miami, as aired on NBC Sports Boston. " ... Robert Kraft: It's your turn. I know Bill has gotten you six trophies. I got that. But you paid for that team. It's your money. You choose what to do with that money.

"And if you let that guy walk, shame on you. Shame on you, because he deserves what he deserves. He's given you a hometown discount his whole freaking career. That guy should be making $30 million every year, minimum. And he doesn't ask for that. Because he wants other players, he wants to win.

"(This is) the one time you can give him what he wants. Give him $30 million. Give him $25 million. You have to give him that one year and say, 'Tom: one year, $30 million, and then off to the sunset.' (Kraft) should do that."

Brady had a cap hit of $21.5 million last season, so the Patriots would have to get creative to shell out $30 million on their 42-year-old quarterback.

But as a former player, Woodson offers good insight into how Brady may make his case to Patriots: pay up, or I'm heading elsewhere. We'd also imagine many current and former players share Woodson's sentiment that Brady deserves to get paid.

Brady, meanwhile, has said he's "open-minded" about his options in free agency. Translation: The ball is in Kraft's court.

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Kurt Warner thinks Tom Brady should play for this specific AFC team

Kurt Warner thinks Tom Brady should play for this specific AFC team

As you already know, Tom Brady's future with the New England Patriots is up in the air.

While Brady may not return to the Patriots, the bigger question is where he'll play next season. The Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders have been the big names surrounding Brady in recent discussions, and of those three teams, one stands out the most.

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NFL Network analyst and Hall of Famer Kurt Warner has an idea of where Brady will go, rather, where he should play if it's not in New England.

"I still don't look to go to the Raiders or the Chargers and have to compete against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs twice every year just to win my division," Warner said at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday, according to Nate Davis of USA Today Sports. "I don't want to have to go through the other great quarterback in the AFC right now twice a year and then possibly have to be the wild card.

"Just from that standpoint alone, I probably look at a team like the Titans, and I say to myself, 'Well, they were right there last year, and they've got some pieces we can build off of.' That's probably, in my mind, the best situation of those three that I'm hearing about."

The Titans are a very reasonable option for Brady. Tennessee lost the AFC championship game to the Kansas City Chiefs, and will be looking for a new quarterback if Ryan Tannehill becomes a free agent. The Titans also have a very talented offense including running back Derrick Henry (also a free agent) and wide recievers A.J. Brown and Corey Davis that could draw Brady to the organization.

Not only that, but Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was teammates with Brady when New England won it's first three Super Bowls from 2001-04.

So, will he become a Titan? Only time will tell.

Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins 'felt comfortable' with Patriots at NFL Combine

Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins 'felt comfortable' with Patriots at NFL Combine

The New England Patriots have a reputation for asking the tough questions at the NFL Scouting Combine. And the 2020 combine has been no different.

So far this season, the Patriots have asked questions about how a quarterback would feel replacing Tom Brady and they also critiqued a prospect for having a "loser's mentality" during one of their interviews.

It's easy to understand why some would be intimidated by the Patriots' questions. They have a no-nonsense approach and look at very specific traits and qualities that fit to build their culture. And that can rub some the wrong way.

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But not Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins. He actually enjoyed his time with the Patriots and he said that he felt comfortable with the Patriots staffers he talked to.

“I like those guys [the Patriots], they’re real cool and relaxing, they make me feel comfortable,” Higgins said per Patriots Wire's Henry McKenna. “Some coaches can be all intimidating and get you on the books right away, but they just talked to me and got me comfortable.”

That's certainly a good sign that Higgins was able to mesh with the Patriots staffers some quickly. Of course, it doesn't mean that the team is going to select him, but he would fill a need at receiver and if he did as well in the meeting as he believes he did, he will surely earn consideration from the team.

Higgins checked in at 6-foot-4, 216 pounds at the NFL Combine and is expected to be an early-round pick in April. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein compared him to A.J. Green thanks to his length, size, and ball skills.

In his final year at Clemson, Higgins caught 59 passes for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also ran the ball once and turned into a 36-yard touchdown. All were career-high numbers.