Tom Brady reportedly won't go on free agent tour, set to hold meeting in centralized location
Tom Brady will be an unrestricted free agent on March 18
Tom Brady will have the home-field advantage whenever he sits down and fields offers from various clubs across the NFL as he becomes an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his NFL career. Unlike some previous high-profile free agents from across the four major North American sports, it's said that Brady won't actually go on a "tour" at all.
According to NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran, Brady "may try to set up meetings at one location instead of creating a circus."
This would be beneficial for the club Brady has quarterbacked for the last 20 years in the New England Patriots as it'll likely cut down the time it'll take for TB12 to come to a decision on his NFL future.
Timing is very important for Bill Belichick and company in their attempts to keep Brady in Foxborough. If the quarterback signs an extension before the start of the new league year on March 18, they'd be able to avoid getting nailed with the full $13.5 million cap hit that is looming over their heads with Brady's current deal. If they're able to manage that, that cap hit would be cut in half to $6.75 million over the next two years. If they can't come to an agreement before the start of the new league year, they'd be hit with the entire sum, which would make putting a competitive roster around Brady that much more difficult and, in turn, make it less likely he re-signs.
Negotiations between Brady and the Patriots, Curran reports, will begin "in a couple of weeks." He also relays that the Patriots will not be super-vigilant about other teams tampering with Brady. Really, the club is more focused on putting together a competitive offensive arsenal around Brady in 2020, rather than the financials of other teams.
If Brady is able to know what other clubs are going to offer him through back-channels prior to the start of free agency, that'd also work in New England's favor to get a resolution from their quarterback quickly, so it's no surprise they may look the other ways if other teams check-in a bit early.
Not only would a quick decision on the part of Brady help the Patriots in their attempt to keep him aboard for the rest of his football days, it'd also help them in the event that he departs the franchise. If he does decide to shake Robert Kraft's hand, give him a hug and exit stage left, New England would want to know as soon as possible, so they are not left looking for a quarterback after all the top free agents have already signed.
Given the emphasis on getting a resolution to Brady's free agency done quickly, the"Tom vs. Time" mantra is suddenly taking on a whole new meaning.