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If Tom Brady leaves the Patriots, where would he go?

The Patriots traded a second-round pick for Mohamed Sanu as they try to bolster their receiving corps ahead of the trade deadline.

Ever since the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady agreed to a contract extension that isn’t really a contract extension and Brady put his house in Boston up for sale, some have been speculating that Brady won’t be back in New England next year. On Monday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter did more than speculate that 2019 could be Brady’s last year in New England.

Schefter may simply be throwing a bone to Brady and/or to agent Don Yee in order to generate interest elsewhere and/or to create leverage to get Brady a better deal in New England for 2021. Or maybe Brady really is thinking about leaving.

But it’s one thing to leave. The question becomes where would he go?

As we’ve previously mentioned, his star power would make pursuing him a brilliant business decision, for any team. For Brady, what kind of football decision would it be?

Brady has acknowledged that the Patriots currently have the best defense of his 20 seasons with the franchise. And Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of all time, in any sport. Where would Brady find anything even remotely close to that?

Look around the league. Which team, in 2020, would both need a starting quarterback and would give Brady anything remotely close to what he currently has? The closest match comes in New Orleans, where Drew Brees would (in theory) retire and Brady would arrive for a season, with Teddy Bridgewater then possibly leaving as well, perhaps for New England.

Beyond that, there’s no clear match. Other possibilities, in theory, include the Chargers for a year in the new L.A. stadium, the Titans, where Brady would work with close friend Mike Vrabel, the Raiders for their first year in Las Vegas, and the Broncos as John Elway’s ultimate personnel Hail Mary pass.

Still, none of these spots would be better for Brady’s chance to add to his legacy than remaining right where he is. And given that he always says his favorite Super Bowl championship is the next one, he likely won’t be looking to make a last-year money grab that doesn’t include a stacked deck that would help him get what could be his eighth championship.