The Curious Case of Tom Brady’s ‘For Sale’ Sign

by @JordyMcElroy

Is more than just the legendary quarterback’s house on the market?

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady advised people not to “read into anything” in regards to him putting up a “For Sale” sign on his home in Brookline (Isn’t that what he’s supposed to say?).

Yet, the timing of the entire ordeal has clouds of smoke billowing out of Foxborough, leaving the impression that a raging fire could be on the verge of burning into the public light between the Patriots organization and the legendary quarterback.

Let the onslaught of speculation begin.

You need only to follow the trail of bread crumbs to understand why something is clearly amiss with Brady and the Patriots. Brady’s recently revised contract gave him an uptick in pay, but it also voids after the 2019 season with a no franchise or transitional tag clause attached to it.

Unless another extension is offered and accepted, that would essentially make the six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback a free agent for the first time at the end of the season.

When asked about his expiring deal with the Patriots, Brady alluded to the fact that he’s no different than others around the league that have to deal with a similar situation.

“It is what it is,” Brady told media members after a joint practice session last week with the Detroit Lions.

That’s the same line my mom used to give my dad to abruptly end a conversation, despite having plenty left to say on the topic.

After the details of Brady’s contract revision became public, then came the news of him putting his property on the market for $39.5 million. Granted, there could be many reasons for this decision.

Perhaps the timing is all a matter of coincidence, and Brady is simply moving on from the four-year-old home. There’s also the possibility he has some other property lined up in Brookline.

Or maybe, just maybe, this is a way for the greatest quarterback of all time to indirectly signal his unhappiness to the Patriots organization; the same organization he’s sacrificed millions of dollars for by accepting low-ball contract offers to help turn them into a perennial Super Bowl contender.

Make no mistake, none of Brady’s grievances will spill out onto the football field and affect his ability to perform in any way, unfortunately for the 31 other teams in the league.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that he’s the ultimate teammate, along with being the ultimate competitor. He’ll toe the line for as long as he remains in a Patriots uniform.

A case could be made this situation will motivate him to play even better and remind the Patriots there’s still magic left in that 42-year-old arm.

Perhaps that’s been Belichick’s goal all along, keeping his quarterback on edge in hopes of getting the best out of him in 2019. Brady and Belichick have been attached at the hip for nearly 20 years, meaning they know exactly what makes each other tick. Although the Patriots invested a fourth-round draft pick in Jarrett Stidham in April, there is no heir apparent behind Brady to even suggest the team would be better off going in a different direction.

There is an ocean-sized gap between this situation and the Jimmy Garoppolo blow-up three years ago. As of right now, Stidham is the third-string quarterback on a brand-new contract behind Brady and Brian Hoyer.

The endgame scenario will probably be Brady once again defying Father Time, out-playing most of the league and earning another contract extension, but don’t think the rest of the league isn’t paying attention to his contract situation.

He has consistently been adamant about playing until the age of 45, and one has to wonder if that goal would remain if he somehow found himself on the free agent market in 2020.

Would he actually consider donning another jersey to get back at Belichick? If the relationship crumbled to that point, teams around the league would be lining up to give him an opportunity to try.  

And he might be apt to listen.

Putting the house up for sale could be the same emphatic statement for the rest of the NFL as it is for the Patriots: Either you’re with Tom Brady or against him. 

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