Peter King

Tom Brady offers more clarity on his mindset entering NFL free agency

Tom Brady offers more clarity on his mindset entering NFL free agency

Tom Brady doesn't know where he'll be playing next fall. But he certainly sounds intent on playing.

That was the general sentiment the 42-year-old quarterback shared with NBC Sports' Peter King after his New England Patriots fell 20-13 to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card round.

When asked how he felt about being a free agent in March, Brady admitted he wants to keep playing in 2020, whether it's with the Patriots or another team.

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"I’ll explore those opportunities whenever they are," Brady told King late Saturday night, via King's "Football Morning in America" column Monday. "If it’s the Patriots, great. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know. I just don’t know. I love playing football. I still want to play football. I think I still can play at a championship level. I’ve just got to go do it. I’m motivated to get back to work and training."

Brady told reporters immediately after the game he's "unlikely" to retire after 20 NFL seasons and has said in the past he wants to play until age 45.

Even after the Patriots' crushing early playoff exit, Brady sounds committed to that goal for at least another year.

"I absolutely still do love this game," Brady told King. " ... I think a lot of other people who are great at what they do — great artists or great actors or great businessmen — they don’t have to stop what they love as they get older. I know there’s football still in here."

Where Brady plays football in 2020 is another story, however. The six-time Super Bowl champion still respects the Patriots organization but reportedly won't take a "hometown discount" on his next contract to stay in New England.

If another team is willing to pay up for Brady, then it's possible we'll see TB12 in a different uniform next season. But based on Brady's comments, we can all but rule out his retirement.

Awesome Bill Belichick quote is proof of what makes Patriots coach great

Awesome Bill Belichick quote is proof of what makes Patriots coach great

Bill Belichick earned his 300th win as an NFL head coach Sunday.

And there are just as many stories illustrating what makes the New England Patriots head coach so great at his job.

NBC Sports' Peter King shared a few great ones Monday in his "Football Morning In America" column, including this gem from "Sunday Night Football" color commentator Cris Collinsworth, who recalled a memorable interaction with Belichick during a pregame production meeting.

"One time I asked him about how well one of his defensive tackles was playing—the way he got his hands inside, the way he controlled his man—and then Bill went on a 30-minute deal about defensive tackles," Collinsworth told King. 

"Everything about the position. I was stunned about the level of minute detail he went into about defensive tackles. I said, 'You should write a book about defensive tackles.'

“He said, 'Cris, I could write a book about every position.' "

Anyone who's listened to a Belichick press conference can attest to Collinsworth's story. Belichick won't give you anything about player injuries or Tom Brady's future, but ask him about X's and O's at any position, and he'll go into incredible detail.

As Collinsworth added, though, what makes Belichick a true legend is his ability to convey his incredible wealth of knowledge to his players.

"Bill’s ability to develop talent is what separates him," Collinsworth added. "He knows he can develop and train younger players, or improve players on the back-end of their careers, which allows him to let high-priced players walk. That ability to control his salary cap allows him to build depth on his roster.

"When injuries are destroying other teams late in the year, he still has quality players coming off the bench for the playoffs and Super Bowl."

Case in point? The Patriots' latest Super Bowl MVP, Julian Edelman, was a seventh-round draft pick.

Read more from King on Belichick here >>

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Peter King: Why you shouldn't expect Stefon Diggs-to-Patriots trade

Peter King: Why you shouldn't expect Stefon Diggs-to-Patriots trade

NBC Sports NFL Insider Peter King laid out earlier this week why the New England Patriots would be wise to target Stefon Diggs ahead of the NFL trade deadline.

But that assumes the Minnesota Vikings are open to trading Diggs. And after doing a little, well, digging, King found that assumption may not be true.

"I did some reporting on the Vikings on Sunday night after they beat the Giants, and I was told it is highly unlikely that he will be traded," King said Thursday on WEEI's "Dale & Keefe" radio show. "They don’t think he wants to be traded."

Diggs fueled trade speculation last week by skipping multiple meetings and practices. But King told "Dale & Keefe" the wide receiver's actions weren't necessarily a trade demand, à la Jalen Ramsey in Jacksonville.

"He’s a really emotional guy, and I don’t know what it was to set him off last week, but I don’t think it was a demand to be traded," King said.

" ...  I was told pretty solidly that as of right now he doesn’t want to be traded and the Vikings have no intention of trading him."

The NFL trade deadline is just over two weeks away, and if the 3-2 Vikings win at least one of their next two games, it's hard to see them dealing their star wideout before Oct. 29.

As Patriots fans can attest, the trade deadline can be full of surprises, and Minnesota could change its tune. But right now, the Patriots likely will need to look elsewhere for wide receiver help.

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