The regular season has not even begun and final roster cuts were just made, but the rumor mill is still constantly spinning in regards to the futures of various New England Patriots superstars. After the trade of Logan Makins, coach Bill Belichick‘s “what’s best for the business” attitude has been solidified, proving once again that loyalty does not guarantee you a spot on this roster.
Tom Brady‘s name has been mentioned several times this week as one who may not be as safe as fans think. Just today, Tom E. Curran of Comcast Sports Net New England said Brady would, “almost certainly” be gone before the 2017 season. If fans thought handling the Makins trade was hard, get ready to put on your fighting gear and hit the streets of Boston, because this one may just send you over the edge.
Would the Patriots actually trade Brady? The face of the franchise, arguably the greatest of all time, the 37-year old who is still playing near the top of his game? Of course they would.
This should be no surprise to anyone. The league saw the trade of Peyton Manning just a couple short years ago and no one thought he would ever play for a team that was not the Indianapolis Colts. At one time, loyalty in the NFL existed. Teams would stay together for years and often this is what lead to consistent success. Today, however, the NFL has become a business before anything else, and Brady has stock value written all over him.
The Patriots will keep Brady for the next couple of seasons to keep competitive and to assist in the development of young Jimmy Garoppolo, but beyond that, his place on the team will become less and less important. Belichick will not want to keep Garoppolo on the bench for four seasons, wasting the talent that he has proven he has.
Of course, there are players that will likely go before Brady, and maybe he won’t actually be traded and will retire instead. Brady’s commitment to this team and competitive spirit, however, lead me to believe that he would take a deal elsewhere to help the Patriots of the future. There may not be much loyalty left in the NFL, but if there is any, it lays in Brady, and if walking away would help them, he would do it in a heartbeat.