New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft only needed five words to answer the question posed to him Sunday night in Los Angeles. Kraft was asked if he wants future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady back in New England for the 2020 season.
“You know what I want,” Kraft said, via Juliet Pennington of The Boston Globe.
Last month, during an interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King, Kraft expressed his desire to see Brady remain with the Patriots. At the same time, Kraft said that Brady has “earned the right” to explore his options as a free agent after helping lead the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles, nine AFC championships and 18 consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins.
“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,” Kraft said.
“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.”
While Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has not publicly discussed Brady’s upcoming free agency, reports out of Boston suggest that Belichick’s preference would be to have Brady back under center for the 2020 season.
“I think from all I have gathered, Bill would prefer to have Tom Brady playing quarterback in 2020 because it is a known quantity and it removes the doubt,” Tim Curran said on WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe”.
“They aren’t ready to have him leave. But, if he’s going to leave and it is going to hamstring other portions, if it comes to a crossroads, I think Bill can easily get his mind around saying good bye as well as he has with so many other players over the course of time.
“But, I believe his first preference would be to have it work out for another season with Tom.”
While Brady may elect to stay in New England, he will have several options in free agency. Brady will be joined on the free agency market by fellow quarterback Philip Rivers, who decided to mutually part with the Chargers on Monday.
Potential destinations for the six-time SuperBowl winner are the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders.
Where do you think Brady ends up next season?