Tom Brady’s future remains a top storyline during this offseason, and for good reason: He very well could be out of a Patriots uniform in 2020.
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That seems to be inching closer toward becoming a reality. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday Brady’s representation is meeting with clubs this week during the NFL Scouting Combine, and the Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders and Indianapolis Colts are among those clubs. It is common for agents of prospective free agents to meet with teams during the combine, though they are not allowed to negotiate. Don Yee and fellow agent Carter Chow also represent free agent David Onyemata, who is a top free agent.
A league spokesperson told Rapoport: "Teams are only allowed to talk about their own players in those conversations."
NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran, however, reported earlier this month that the Patriots are unlikely to file tampering charges against teams talking to Brady’s reps ahead of free agency, and actually are OK if clubs go that route so that Brady can have an accurate idea of his market before talking to the only team he has played for.
Additionally, the Patriots have yet to reach out to Brady’s camp about a new contract. With the quarterback headed to free agency March 18, time is suddenly getting short before he hits the open market.
"It’s not surprising — there’s no CBA," Rapoport said during NFL Now. "The Patriots have no reason to negotiate now. It’s probably going to come closer to when the tampering window opens."
It’s a logical approach, of course, with certain necessary parameters in flux with the new collective bargaining agreement nearing approval but not yet there. It also creates room for legitimate risk, should Brady’s camp — headed by his longtime agent, Don Yee — find another team’s pitch to be more alluring and convincing than New England.
The lack of a legitimate communication between the Patriots and Brady and its potential impact is why we’re here right now. Where that leads Brady remains to be seen. A good amount of the path for him could be laid this week in Indianapolis.
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