There is definitely something going on at Patriot Place. There is tension between Brady and Belichick, but why? In the last 8 months, Belichick has traded away a legit starting quarterback and passed on taking a quarterback in the draft until all the way in the 7th round. If that’s not a commitment to Brady, then I don’t know what else he can do to show his commitment.
Actually, now that I think of it, there is one more thing that Belichick could do, and I think it’s the reason there is some tension between him and Brady. He could give him a contract extension. Brady is scheduled to be a free agent after next season and wants one more contract before that happens. Instead of possibly going into a contract year, he’d prefer an extension this summer. His last two contract extensions were signed with 2 years left on his deal, so it makes sense it would be the same this time. The Patriots, however, haven’t come to the table yet. Why not?
The answer is simple: Don Yee. Yee is Brady’s agent, but he’s also Jimmy Garoppolo’s agent. He recently screwed the Patriots over when it comes to Jimmy, and now the Patriots are taking it out on Brady. It wouldn’t be the first time the team has punished a player because of the actions of their agent, just look at Deion Branch. The next question is obvious: How did Yee screw over the Patriots in regards to Jimmy? The answer is one that people have not been talking about, but it makes too much sense not to be true.
There are only two reasons why the Patriots started the season with both Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster last season. The first is that Belichick was planning to trade Brady at the end of the year and sign Jimmy to contract extension to become the new starting quarterback for the Patriots. The second is that Belichick thought he could keep both players on the roster for 2018. In regards to the first option, some people have claimed that Robert Kraft forced Belichick to trade Jimmy G. That is the single dumbest take in the history of sports. Belichick would’ve quit on the spot. To further that, Kraft once made that mistake with Parcells and vowed to never do it again, which he hasn’t for 18 years. Now all of a sudden he changes everything because of one player? Admittedly we’re talking about the best player of all time, but we’re also talking about the best coach of all time. No chance he risks Belichick walk out on him, so put that rumor to bed.
That leaves us with only the second option. Some people have tried to claim the team could’ve franchised Jimmy this offseason and made it work, and while they could’ve technically done it, they wouldn’t have had any more space under the cap and would’ve had to redo a ton of deals, including Brady’s. “Hey Tom, can you take a pay cut so we can keep your replacement on the roster?” I’m sure that would’ve gone over great. The more likely scenario, and the reason why Bill would’ve traded Jimmy at the deadline, is that he thought he could get Jimmy to sign a contract extension. Something clearly changed from the draft to the trade deadline, and they didn’t have a ton of cap space that they needed to devote to a new player. The thing that changed was that he realized he would not be able to convince Jimmy G to stay in New England voluntarily. Once that was clear, the only thing left to do was trade him.
What does this have to do with Don Yee? Do you think Bill goes into the season with Jimmy unless he feels confident he can get a deal done? I don’t either. That means Jimmy’s agent(Yee) told Bill that they would be willing to take less money to stay, provided they were compensated when he finally took over, and maybe even given an out in case the Patriots still didn’t want to part ways with Brady in a year or two. This, obviously, ended up not being the truth. And, unable to reach an agreement, the Patriots had no choice but to cut their losses and trade away their quarterback of the future.
So now you’re probably thinking: so what? They traded him at the trade deadline instead of right before the draft. They still got something for him. You’d be correct, except they got MUCH less than they would’ve gotten. Reports were that the Browns were offering the #12 overall pick to the Patriots for Jimmy, which they clearly did not take. The 12th overall pick was Deshaun Watson. Turns out he’s decent at football. Of course, Watson wasn’t drafted by Cleveland, they traded that pick to the Texans, who, in return, sent them #25 and their 1st round pick in 2018. At 25 the Browns drafted Jabril Peppers, a guy who was linked to the Patriots, and could’ve possibly done a better job than Jordan Richards in February. The 2018 pick ended up being 4th overall. The Patriots would’ve had their choice of quarterback outside of Mayfield and Darnold, and they would’ve had the firepower to move up and get Baker, had they wanted to. All of that adds up to 2 shots at drafting the quarterback of the future ruined because an agent gave false hope to Bill Belichick. That is not something that is forgiven easily.
Because it’s Brady, I’m sure the Patriots will figure it out. They have made it clear he is their only option for this year and probably the next few, so they don’t really have a choice. But that doesn’t mean Bill can’t make Don Yee sweat it out a little bit.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
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