Charlie Weis

Why Charlie Weis is 'a little stunned' by Tom Brady leaving Patriots

Why Charlie Weis is 'a little stunned' by Tom Brady leaving Patriots

The speculation was out there that Tom Brady could leave the New England Patriots in free agency.

But the quarterback's actual announcement still left many reeling.

Charlie Weis is among those who never thought Brady actually would leave the Patriots after 20 seasons. Joining SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday, the former Patriots offensive coordinator gave his reaction to the news Brady broke on social media that morning.

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"I felt that Tommy would finish up in New England," Weis said. "That's what I thought he would do. I knew that he'd get offers for more money from other places, and I knew the dollar figures would be significant -- probably $10 million a year different, at least. But at the end of the day, for both the Patriots and for Tommy, I was hoping it ended (with Brady staying)."

Weis, who won three Super Bowls with Brady in New England from 2000 to 2004, had kept close tabs on Brady as the 42-year-old approached unrestricted free agency.

It appears Weis was right about the money aspect, too: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Chargers both reportedly have offered Brady at least $30 million per year on a new contract, while the Patriots reportedly were unwilling to give Brady more than the $23 million he earned in 2019.

But Weis was wrong in assuming Brady would take another pay cut to finish his career as a Patriot: The six-time Super Bowl champion seems ready for a change of scenery and to start a new chapter in his "football journey."

That fact -- and the reality of Brady being gone -- was what stuck with Weis the most.

"The finality of listening to you read that tweet ... as I'm reading it, I have to tell you I'm a little stunned. I really am. I'm a little stunned."

You'll find plenty of Patriots fans who agree, Charlie.

Charlie Weis sheds more light on Tom Brady's free agency mindset

Charlie Weis sheds more light on Tom Brady's free agency mindset

When it comes to where Tom Brady will play in 2020, Charlie Weis' guess is as good as anyone's.

But the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator has kept in touch with Brady this offseason, and he has a sense of the 42-year-old quarterback's mindset as he prepares to enter free agency for the first time in his illustrious NFL career.

Brady recently told Weis "nobody knows anything" regarding his impending free agency. So while rumors swirl about the Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and other teams as potential destinations, they should be taken with a grain of salt.

Appearing on The MMQB NFL Podcast with Albert Breer, Weis offered more insight about Brady one week before he officially hits the open market.

"Do I think that [Brady's] going over the alternatives in his mind? Yes ... I mean, obviously everything leads to March 18. Because with that number -- $13 million and change number -- that comes due as of the 18th if he hasn't signed by then, that number will be tagged on to whatever [the Patriots] would have to pay him afterward. I think that ship will sail at that point.

"So really, he's not really a free agent in my mind. He's still a Patriot right now. And if the Patriots are going to get this done, I believe it'll be done between now and March 18."

The $13 million Weis refers to is the dead cap hit the Patriots would take if Brady is not on the roster by March 18.

Earlier this month, Brady and head coach Bill Belichick had a phone conversation that reportedly "didn't go well." Weis mentions Belichick's "all business" mentality as a factor in Brady's next move.

"Well [Brady's] a very emotional person, we've all seen ... So I mean, he's been treated very well by the fans in New England and treated very well by the Kraft family. But I think both Bill and Tommy both look at football more as a business. Both of them do. And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. That's called reality that we're dealing with. We've seen it time and time again over the career with New England where Bill let guys go that still had gas left in the tank but he felt it was in the best interest of the team to do that. So I think that works both ways ...

"I think Tommy would love nothing more than to end up finishing up winning a championship with the New England Patriots. I think he'd love that to happen. But the reality of this is he's taken a hometown discount for a long time ... I think there will be serious talks between them and the Patriots and from my perspective, hopefully that gets it done. But if it doesn't, if he has to leave, he'll give one of those emotional thank yous and he'll move on."

Breer asked Weis how difficult it will be for Brady to recreate his current structure in New England with a new organization, and Weis fired back with a reasonable explanation for why it may intrigue Brady to explore other opportunities.

"Wouldn't that be fresh? The newness?" Weis asked. "It could be reinvigorating. That's the flipside of that ... He almost could be reinvigorated by being kind of a -- almost being put into kind of a player-coach mentality if he went somewhere else because there's going to have to be some give and take. There could be something to the newness."

The Brady Watch will certainly intensify leading up to that pivotal March 18 date. And as Weis implies, the probability of Brady staying in New England will take a significant dive if he and the Patriots cannot agree to a contract extension before then.

What Tom Brady told Charlie Weis about his impending free agency

What Tom Brady told Charlie Weis about his impending free agency

Tom Brady mostly has kept quiet about his impending free agency. Even so, that hasn't kept the rumors from flying.

Brady already has been linked to several teams, including the Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, and Los Angeles Chargers. Even the San Francisco 49ers apparently have entered the fray as potential suitors for the 42-year-old quarterback.

The odds of Brady returning to New England only appeared to get worse when it was revealed a recent phone conversation between him and head coach Bill Belichick "didn't go well."

We haven't heard anything from Brady in response to those rumors. On Sirius XM NFL Radio's "Opening Drive" program, though, ex-Pats offensive coordinator Charlie Weis shared a text conversation with Brady that shows maybe we shouldn't put as much stock into all the noise.

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Here's what Brady told Weis, per ESPN's Mike Reiss.

I do have one bit of scoop for us. I've been texting with Tommy. I don't [usually] pass along these conversations, but one thing he told me -- 'Nobody knows anything. So anyone who is telling you they know, they don't know.' I'm not going through any other part of the conversation [but] I followed up and he said, 'Clean it up.' So I'm cleaning it up.

As true as it may be that no one knows Brady's next move, that certainly won't put an end to the constant speculation. Perhaps we'll learn more over the next week or so as Brady's free agency rapidly approaches.

Brady is scheduled to officially become a free agent on March 18.