Patriots Talk Podcast: What challenges will Tom Brady face in a new system if he leaves Patriots?

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Patriots Talk Podcast: What challenges will Tom Brady face in a new system if he leaves Patriots?

Tom Brady's decision on where he'll play next season is obviously a big one.

The New England Patriots quarterback is set to hit the open market and plenty of teams this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis have discussed the possibility of adding him. If Brady does decide to leave New England, he certainly will face his challenges.

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On this week's episode of Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast, Curran and former Brady backup Matt Cassel discuss - among other things - how difficult it could be for Brady to learn a new system.

While Cassel, who played for six NFL teams, is familiar with changing systems, he indicated that Brady, who'll turn 43 just after training camps open this summer, may have some difficulty with new terminology.

"The biggest challenge for anybody going into a new system is obviously learning the terminology," Cassel told Curran. "Over my career, I believe I've had 12 different coordinators in 14 years, so I'm accustomed to it, I know the process that takes place. Obviously, he's been in the same system for 20 some odd years, so it would be a big change if you're going to a new system with new terminology, how they call their protection scheme, route patterns, if it's a digit system, if it's a word system. I'd have to believe that if Tom [Brady] does go elsewhere, he would choose a place that has some familiarity with that system and how they call plays."

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While it can be difficult for a QB joining a new team, Cassel also tells Curran that it's the job of the coaches to make sure that players feel comfortable.

"Now, it's also about how much flexibility is the coordinator, the head coach, is everybody going to have because anybody that makes that commitment to bring Tom in, they obviously want him to be comfortable, and they won't want him to come in and have to learn a brand new system in its entirety."

If Brady does decide to step away after 20 years with Bill Belichick's team, he probably won't have too much of a difficult time given his championship resume -- especially if he gets some help with receiving talent.

We'll likely know where he's going soon after free agency officially begins March 18. 

Also on the pod, Curran discusses the reported meeting between Brady's agent Don Yee and the Pats at the combine and Phil Perry checks in from Indy with his three biggest combine takeaways so far. It's all on the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network. 

 

Patriots Talk Podcast: Big market for Tom Brady 'could get wild,' says Mike Florio

Patriots Talk Podcast: Big market for Tom Brady 'could get wild,' says Mike Florio

It's no secret that Tom Brady could end up playing somewhere other than New England next season.

The veteran quarterback not only wants to be paid the kind of money other elite QBs are pulling in, but he could also use an upgrade on the targets he'll be throwing to if he wants a successful playoff run -- and possibly his seventh Super Bowl title.

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It'll be difficult, though, for the Patriots to satisfy Brady and their other free agents while also bringing in some help from the open market.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio joins Tom Curran's latest Patriots Talk Podcast to discuss New England's cap situation as well as how the free-agent market for TB12 "could get wild."

"Well, they're paying top of the market on Stephon Gilmore, paying hefty on [Devin] McCourty," Curran responded to Florio's question on the Patriots cap space. "It's that middle class that chews it up, plus they have $9 million wrapped up in Antonio Brown. So, they're still $29 million under the cap right now -- according to my best source -- a guy in Miguel Benzan [a.k.a. @patscap on Twitter] who projects as well what numbers will be. They're not up against it, but up against it relative to bringing in Tom Brady, maintaining Kyle Van Noy, maintaining Joe Thuney, they're up against it."

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While they are up against the wall, it was reported that the Patriots would be willing to pay Brady upwards of $30 million a year to keep him in New England. Florio notes that the money isn't the problem -- the problem could be Bill Belichick.

"It's not about the money as much as it is about what does Tom want to do and whether he takes less to go somewhere else or less to stay with the Patriots," Florio said. "It's more about what he wants at this point of his career. And I'm a firm believer, and I think we saw the reports around Super Bowl weekend that the Patriots are willing to pay him more than $30 million a year.

"Well, Robert Kraft is willing to authorize the writing of the check... it still comes down to what Bill Belichick wants to do and I don't think Kraft is going to tell him 'thou shall keep Tom Brady' if Bill Belichick doesn't want to keep Tom Brady or doesn't want to offer the kind of money that would be necessary to get Tom Brady to say 'I choose to continue my career with the New England Patriots.' I think it's going to take a lot for him to leave."

So, we're a month away from the culmination of THE story of the NFL offseason, particularly in New England. If the Patriots won't give Brady what he wants, who will?

Whether it's the Chargers, the Raiders, the Cowboys, the Titans, the Dolphins, the Jets, the Giants -- it's not as crazy as it sounds," Florio said. "And I think any team that doesn't have a quarterback under a big-money contract or has a young guy like [the Giants'} Daniel Jones who could be told, 'Hey, take a seat, we got Tom Brady.' I'm telling you, man, it could get wild. It could get very wild.

Will the Patriots lock up the QB who'll be 43 by the time next season starts before Florio's "wild" prediction comes true? There's been no movement so far. 

Meanwhile, the rumors of other Brady destinations swirl. The Tennessee Titans offer the power running of Derrick Henry - who dominated the Patriots and made them a one-and-done playoff team - as a complement to Brady.  Even the four-win New York Giants boast a top back in Saquon Barkley as well as Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate to throw to. The Raiders are rumored to be ready to welcome Brady to Las Vegas with a two-year, $60 million deal. 

Earlier in the pod, Curran's colleague Phil Perry joints the salary cap discussion and breaks down what the draft could have to offer for wide receivers and safeties. It's all in this week's Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston's Podcast Network. 

Patriots Talk Podcast: Are Raiders or Titans the favorites for Tom Brady?

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Are Raiders or Titans the favorites for Tom Brady?

It's the parlor game that will take us right up to the time when we'll be filling out our NCAA brackets.

It's that other March Madness - NFL free agency. More specifically, Tom Brady's free agency. Where will TB12 land?

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On Tom Curran's latest Patriots Talk Podcast, our Patriots Insider is joined by ESPN's Jeff Darlington, who explains the prediction he made earlier on his network of the Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans as the likeliest new home for the GOAT.

"To be clear, I do think that the Titans and the Raiders, if you're asking me right now, if we're putting odds on it, are the favorites," Darlington told Curran.

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"I don't necessarily see him returning to New England. That's not to say he won't, but I just don't have enough faith in the meeting that needs to occur between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick to get enough done to where Brady feels like he's ready to return."  

To that end, Curran also weighed in on how Brady's perceived lack of appreciation from Belichick will impact the quarterback's decision. Curran noted that it was apparent a few weeks ago when the coach and QB appeared on the NFL Network's Top 100 players show.  

"There was a yearning from Brady to Belichick to just be appreciated," Curran said. "To be told, 'You're my guy, I love ya. Nobody else can do what you do.' I honestly think that almost informs what we're watching unfold."

Earlier in the pod, Curran's colleague Phil Perry talked about how if we reach the March 16 deadline and Brady officially becomes a free agent, "the chances of him leaving skyrocket."

To prevent that, Perry suggests that it's time for the Patriots to show Brady he'll have the weapons he needs to make a successful return at 43. And the only way to do that before signings begin in March would be with trades, as in dealing for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. or Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper.

Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus also joins the podcast to explain why he ranked the San Francisco 49ers' Richard Sherman ahead of the Pats cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the AP's Defensive Player of the Year, in PFF's list of the top 101 players. It's all in this week's Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston's Podcast Network.