BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Even with the Patriots not playing in this year's Super Bowl, the Pats and their soon-to-be free agent quarterback still had the spotlight firmly on them over the weekend .
First, there was team owner Robert Kraft at the red carpet of the NFL Honors Award Show Saturday night, where he was asked if Tom Brady would be back next season. Kraft wouldn't give a definitive answer, saying that's a question for Brady, but he "sure hopes so."
Then, late Sunday morning, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport revealed during Super Bowl pregame coverage that the Patriots are willing to pay over $30 million per season to keep Brady if that's what it takes.
To put that in perspective, six quarterbacks—Russel Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff, Wentz, and Matt Ryan—made over $30 million against the cap in 2019. Brady made a measly $23 million this past season, which ranked 14th among signal callers across the league.
Rapoport later further elaborated on his report, saying that while the pay raise would help New England's chances of keeping Brady, money isn't the number-one priority for the QB, but it is for his surrounding cast—meaning the Pats would have to go out and get Brady some better pass catchers, whether it be through trades, free agency, or the draft.
Whatever they do, it will have to be a better attempt than what they tried this past year. I don't need to remind you how the Antonio Brown experiment ended up.
Later, ESPN's NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that the Raiders appear to be poised to go after Brady this offseason, with the hopes of making him their premier acquisition as the franchise moves from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2020.
The Raiders cannot legally have any contact with Brady about joining their team until 4 pm March 16th, when the leagues "Legal Tampering" period begins, or else the Patriots could sue them. The Pats have done in the past, most notably when Darrelle Revis left the Patriots to rejoin the Jets in 2015 (the Jets were fined $100,000).
As kickoff for the Super Bowl drew closer, Brady appeared on Westwood One Radio for his weekly interview with Jim Gray, where he gave the Patriots and their fans hope that he will be back under center for them next season, saying that he and the team have spoken but wouldn't say about what exactly.
Then during the game, we finally got our answer to that mysterious social media post Brady uploaded late last week, it was a tease for his Super Bowl commercial promoting Hulu.
In the ad, Brady ends it by saying "I'm not going anywhere," sending Patriots Nation into a frenzy wondering if he means that he's staying put in Foxborough.
Nothing has been announced, but with all the reports over the weekend about Brady's future, you should be feeling pretty good about the chances of him staying in New England, as it appears both sides want to get a deal done.
WBZ NewsRadio's Dan Watkins(@DanWatkinsRadio)reports