Patriots

Sources: Tom Brady and family preparing to leave New England

Sources: Tom Brady and family preparing to leave New England

Tom Brady doesn't officially become a free agent until the new league year begins on March 18, but the rumors are already flying about the New England Patriot quarterback's future.

A report surfaced earlier in the week that Brady and his family purchased a home in Greenwich, Connecticut. As NBC Sports Boston's own Tom E. Curran pointed out, that is false.

But that doesn't mean Brady isn't planning on making a move.

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Thursday night on "Arbella Early Edition," Gary Tanguay revealed that a source told him Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen are looking to leave New England.

"I was told today by a source the family is planning to leave the area," Tanguay said. "The priority this time is to let the kids finish school this year, then they're gone."

Tanguay's report doesn't mean Brady is definitely leaving New England, but talks of him and his family looking to live somewhere else continue to gain steam.

If Brady indeed is moving on from New England and looking to start a new chapter, some of that could do with his desire to finally make the money he's worth in free agency.

According to Tanguay, Brady is "embarrassed" by the number of quarterbacks in the league that make more than him and has been fed up about it dating back to the summer, before he signed his contract extension.

Thirteen quarterbacks, including Brady's former backups Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, make more on average annually than the six-time Super Bowl champion according to overthecap.com.

The truth is, we won't know for certain what's going through Brady's mind until the ink is on paper for the 42-year-old's new contract. Until then, it's going to be a stressful offseason for Patriots fans.

Curran: Is this newfound time a silver lining for Patriots?

Kyle Long shades Jimmy Garoppolo while pushing Tom Brady-to-49ers theory

Kyle Long shades Jimmy Garoppolo while pushing Tom Brady-to-49ers theory

Tom Brady is a Bay Area native who grew up going to 49ers games, but San Francisco hasn't really been viewed as a serious destination for the New England Patriots quarterback and free-agent-to-be.

Why? Because the Niners already have their franchise quarterback in former Brady backup Jimmy Garoppolo, who helped guide them to Super Bowl LIV.

... Or do they?

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Retired offensive lineman Kyle Long joined NFL Network's "Total Access" on Tuesday to discuss the one free-agent signing he'd like to see this offseason.

"I think this will drive some people crazy, but ... one thing I've thought about is a guy named Tom Brady and a team called the San Francisco 49ers," Long told host Lindsay Rhodes.

"It would be something where we would find out if the 49ers are really in love with Jimmy Garoppolo. And I think Tom Brady has earned the right to select a turnkey organization that is one quarterback away from the Super Bowl. And who better than the 49ers? He's a hometown kid. He grew up idolizing Joe Montana."

"One quarterback away from the Super Bowl" sure sounds like a dig at Garoppolo, who threw two interceptions in the 49ers' Super Bowl LIV loss to the Kansas City Chiefs but otherwise had a strong 2019 campaign.

To have his former mentor come in at age 43 and accomplish what he couldn't? That'd be a tough pill for Garoppolo to swallow.

As our Patriots Insider Phil Perry recently pointed out, San Fran technically has the option to replace Garoppolo with Brady this season, as the 28-year-old QB has an opt-out clause for 2020 in his contract.

Count Long among those on board with that scenario.

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Nate Ebner wants to stay with Patriots as free agency looms

Nate Ebner wants to stay with Patriots as free agency looms

The New England Patriots have some key players set to enter free agency this offseason. Obviously, Tom Brady will take most of the attention, but the team has some important special teams players set to hit the open market as well.

Notably, Matthew Slater and Stephen Gostkowski will be available. And Nate Ebner will be as well.

Ebner, an eight-year pro who was drafted in the sixth round in 2012, has been a big-time special teams ace for the Patriots. In 2018, he ranked second in the league in special teams tackles with 15. He provided another eight last season and continued to be a key cog in that aspect of the game.

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Ahead of his free agency, Ebner opened up about wanting to stay with the Patriots as he looks to continue his NFL career.

“I mean, that would be the best thing, I think, when you consider my entire career has been here,” Ebner said per NESN's Zack Cox. “I understand how things go. I’ve got some true friendships here.

“I understand how things work — that would be great. But right now, it’s out of my hands, so we’ll see what happens and I’ll just take it as it goes. We’ll see.”

It wouldn't be surprising to see Ebner return to the Patriots. After all, Bill Belichick places a lot of value on special teams performance. Given that Ebner should come relatively cheap -- he signed a two-year, $5 million deal last time he was set to hit free agency -- it's well within the realm of possibility that the team could find a way to keep him.

Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, and if the Patriots use up most of their cap space signing Brady and some offensive weapons to surround him, Ebner might not fit. But if Ebner's first choice is remaining in New England, it seems likely that the team will at least entertain the idea of bringing him back.