The NFL world is about to be turned upside down when longtime New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hits the free agent market. Brady has been the leader of the AFC powerhouse ever since taking over for Drew Bledsoe in 2001. His accomplished career is highlighted by six Super Bowl wins and three MVP awards.
It doesn't appear a deal will be reached by Brady and the Patriots before the deadline, which means he will officially become a free agent on March 18, when the league's signing period begins.
The Patriots and owner Robert Kraft seem to be content with letting the 42-year-old quarterback test the open market. Kraft recently spoke about the impending free agency.
"Before the season started, it was very important to Tom that he be free to do whatever he wanted at the end of the year," said Kraft, according to CBS Sports. "You know what I said to myself? That any person who plays 20 years for this team and helps us get to nine Super Bowls, and been really selfless, has earned that right. I love the young man like he's part of my family. Blood family. Anyone who's done that has earned the right to control his future after 20 years. And you know, my hope and prayer is number one, he play for the Patriots. Or number two, he retires. He has the freedom to decide what he wants to do and what's in his own best personal interest."
When Brady does hit the open market, there are going to be a good amount of interested parties vying for his signature on a contract. Among the favorites to land him if he chooses not to return to New England are the newly-moved Las Vegas Raiders, the Los Angeles Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and America's team, the Dallas Cowboys.
There's also the chance he decides to call it a career after 20 seasons. That, though, appears to be a longshot as he his commercial with Hulu appeared to poke fun at the idea of him walking away.
He also recently posted a photo of himself working on the beach in preparation for the season.
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"31 weeks until kickoff. That's a lot of time to get better," he wrote in the caption.
Brady has appeared in a record nine Super Bowls. Of the six he has won, he won the game's MVP in four of those, which also is a record.