NFL

What's next for Tom Brady after Patriots loss?

By Sports Desk January 05, 2020

It will be the story that dominates the NFL offseason: What's next for Tom Brady?

The 42-year-old's quest to win an unprecedented seventh ring at Super Bowl LIV in Miami next month was dashed by the Tennessee Titans, who beat Brady's New England Patriots 20-13 in the Wild Card Round on Saturday.

With Brady currently set to be a free agent in 2020, there remains a possibility that he could begin his 21st NFL season away from Bill Belichick's team.

Here we assess Brady's potential options for next season.

 

RETIREMENT

Speaking after the defeat to the Titans, Brady had said retirement was "pretty unlikely... Hopefully unlikely".

The plyometrics fanatic has redefined what was considered possible for forty-somethings in the NFL, exulting the virtues of his 'TB12 Method' and speaking of his desire to play until he is 45.

But Father Time seems to be catching Brady, who threw just 24 touchdowns in the 2019 regular season, the fewest he has managed across a full campaign since he posted the same number in 2006.

Brady is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, a six-time Super Bowl champion and widely regarded as the best quarterback ever; at this point, carrying on may only harm his legacy. But will he want to bow out with a home playoff loss...?

STAY IN NEW ENGLAND

The most likely option is that Brady returns to Foxborough next season.

His slightly disappointing numbers this season come with caveats, most notably the lack of weapons in the passing game, the less-than-stellar offensive line and a ground attack that's remained, well, grounded.

New England drafted Jarrett Stidham last year but he was benched on his debut after throwing a pick-six from his third attempt. Asking him to step in for Brady at this stage appears too much.

Perhaps the Patriots would be better off surrounding Brady with a better cast and making one final Super Bowl push. Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown may just be up for that too.

JOIN THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

If Brady is to go elsewhere in 2020, it will almost certainly be to a Super Bowl contender.

The Colts can be just that. They went 10-6 in 2018 and won a playoff game and, despite losing Andrew Luck to retirement on the eve of the 2019 season, they still went 7-9 this term and would probably have made the playoffs had they had better play at the quarterback position.

Indianapolis have no long-term commitment to current starter Jacoby Brissett, who was one of Brady's former backups in New England.

The Colts have a fine offensive line, a roster stacked with young stars ready to make the next step and an offensive-minded head coach. Brady could do a lot worse, but would Indy - who are also projected to have the most cap space for 2020 - be keen given the current regime's desire to build through the draft?

JOIN THE LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Another AFC team with a possible opening at the game's most important position.

The Chargers, like the Colts, made the playoffs in 2018 and won a game, yet they were hugely disappointing when going 5-11 in 2019.

Philip Rivers might be four years younger than Brady but he looked far older this season and the Chargers can easily cut ties and look elsewhere in 2020.

Los Angeles may just be an appealing destination to California-born Brady; after all, it was to NBA veteran LeBron James.

JOIN THE LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden likes to work with veteran quarterbacks - see Rich Gannon and Brad Johnson - and 'Chucky' has offered no guarantees over current incumbent Derek Carr's future.

What better way to mark the move to a new stadium in a new city by rolling the dice and bringing Brady to Sin City?

The Raiders have a stout offensive line, a brilliant young running back in Josh Jacobs and enough cap space to sign a player of Brady's calibre.

One thing's for sure, if Brady ends up in Las Vegas, former Raider Brown will not be following him after the way he burned his bridges...

JOIN THE CAROLINA PANTHERS

A left-field suggestion, perhaps, but the Panthers have one thing that could work in their favour: A head coaching vacancy.

New England's current offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, is reportedly set to interview with the Panthers next week and both he and Brady may like the idea of joining forces and proving their worth away from Belichick.

The Cleveland Browns and New York Giants are thought to be keen on McDaniels too, though they both have young signal callers.

If Brady wants a 'home away from home' and McDaniels lands in Carolina, the Panthers might just fit the bill. 

Related items

  • Stats Perform's NFL Friday Facts: Veterans Belichick and Carroll do battle in Week 2 Stats Perform's NFL Friday Facts: Veterans Belichick and Carroll do battle in Week 2

    The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks were among the most impressive teams in Week 1 - now they meet at CenturyLink Field on Sunday Night Football.

    Cam Newton, Tom Brady's replacement at quarterback, led New England to a 21-11 victory over the Miami Dolphins, while Russell Wilson put on a passing clinic when completing 31 of his 35 attempts in Seattle's 38-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

    A repeat of Super Bowl XLIX is the standout game of Sunday's slate, though there are plenty more mouth-watering encounters, including the Baltimore Ravens facing the Houston Texans.

    Here we break down the big matchups using Stats Perform data.

     

    FEATURE GAME

    Patriots at Seahawks - Sunday, 8.20pm (all times Eastern)

    - This will be the first game in NFL history in which both teams will have a head coach aged 68 or older. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is 69, while Patriots coach Bill Belichick is 68.

    - Newton led the Patriots with 75 yards rushing on a game-high 15 carries in his Pats debut last week. Should he finish as New England's leading rusher again in Seattle, Newton will be his team's leading rusher for a 37th time - a new record for the most such games by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).

    - New England have won eight straight games against NFC opponents, including their Super Bowl LIII win over the Los Angeles Rams, dating back to a loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 3 of the 2018 season.

    OTHER KEY GAMES

    Rams at Eagles - Sunday, 1pm

    - The Eagles have won the last six meetings between these teams, including one-score wins in Los Angeles in 2017 (43-35) and 2018 (30-23). They have averaged 32.2 points during the win streak, with at least 30 points in each of the last five meetings.

    Broncos at Steelers - Sunday, 1pm

    - The Broncos have won four of the last five games against the Steelers, including two playoff wins. Four of those five games were decided by seven points or fewer.

    Chiefs at Chargers - Sunday, 4.25pm

    - After starting last season 6-4, Kansas City have won 10 straight games - regular season and playoffs. The streak began last November with a win over the Chargers in Mexico City. Each of the last seven victories have come by a double-digit margin; since 2000, only the 2007 Patriots (eight games) have had a longer streak of wins by 10 or more points.

    Ravens at Texans - Sunday, 4.25pm

    - The Ravens have gone 12 straight regular-season games without trailing in the second half, the longest streak by any NFL team since the Chicago Bears had a 12-game streak from 1933-34. The last team to have a streak longer than 12 games was the Green Bay Packers from 1929-30 (18).

    Saints at Raiders - Monday, 4.15pm

    - Josh Jacobs had three rushing touchdowns in Week 1, becoming the first Raider to do so since Latavius Murray, who is now with New Orleans, had three in Week 9 of 2016. Only two Raiders have rushed for three touchdowns more than once – Marcus Allen (five times) and Pete Banaszak (twice).

    ELSEWHERE...

    Falcons at Cowboys - Sunday, 1pm

    - Dak Prescott has not been intercepted in his last 223 pass attempts going back to last November, the longest streak in Cowboys history. Troy Aikman held the previous mark at 216 passes in 1999.

    Lions at Packers - Sunday, 1pm

    - Green Bay have won seven straight home openers since a 30-22 loss against the San Francisco 49ers in 2012. That is the second-longest active streak of its kind, behind the Seahawks (11 straight).

  • Bengals rookie Joe Burrow frustrated despite promising display: Losing is unacceptable to me Bengals rookie Joe Burrow frustrated despite promising display: Losing is unacceptable to me

    Joe Burrow declared "losing is unacceptable to me" as the Cincinnati Bengals went 0-2 despite another promising showing from the rookie quarterback against the Cleveland Browns.

    A week on from making his NFL debut in a losing effort to the Los Angeles Chargers, the number one overall draft pick was unable to prevent the Bengals going down 35-30 at FirstEnergy Stadium on his first outing in a prime-time slot.

    Burrow, according to NFL.com, became the first rookie since at least 1950 to throw 60-plus times without recording an interception, while he broke 310 yards for passing.

    He also converted eight of 18 third-down attempts, while he was five on five on fourth down and displayed his never-say-die attitude by finding Tyler Boyd for a touchdown pass within the final two minutes with the Bengals looking well out of it.

    Still, Burrow said it is back to the drawing board after starting his NFL career with two defeats.

    "Losing isn't very fun. This might be the only time in my sporting career that I've lost two games in a row," he said. 

    "It doesn't feel very good. I know guys in there are hurting and we're gonna come back to work tomorrow and try and get this thing right. 

    "Losing is unacceptable to me, to everybody in there, to coach [Zac] Taylor, to everybody in this organisation. So, we're just gonna have to get it fixed.

    "I have great people around me. The offensive line did a hell of a job for me. My guys are making plays for me. That's all you can ask for as a quarterback. We've been in scoring range, and that's been one positive. 

    "Again, we're 0-2. That's all that matters. I'll never accept losing. That's just something that is not in my mindset."

    Opposite number Baker Mayfield knows all about dealing with hype in the NFL and sees lots of potential in Burrow.

    "The hype is real with Joe," the Browns QB said. "Obviously, that team loves him. They follow him and he leads them."

    Mayfield was 16-of-23 passing for 219 yards, with one interception, while he found eight different receivers throughout.

    "You always want to get the ball in playmakers' hands early, so those guys are in it," Mayfield said. 

    "I thought we made the most of our playmakers' abilities. I'm surrounded by talent. I want to get the ball in their hands."

  • Premier League Fantasy Picks: Fernandes a vital choice as Man Utd get started Premier League Fantasy Picks: Fernandes a vital choice as Man Utd get started

    The new 2020-21 season is really kicking into gear as Premier League matchweek two approaches.

    After prior European commitments delayed Manchester City and Manchester United starting their respective campaigns, there is a full slate of matches this weekend.

    That means there is plenty of opportunity for fantasy managers to make up for missing out on Mohamed Salah, Jamie Vardy or even Jeff Hendrick last week.

    Need to get back on track or build on a strong start? This Opta-powered selection provides some must-haves for the coming round of matches.

     

    EMILIANO MARTINEZ

    Picking an Arsenal goalkeeper heading into the campaign was slightly risky business with two vying for the first-choice spot. Fortunately, with Emiliano Martinez leaving for Aston Villa, the matter has been settled.

    From his first start last season on June 25, following Bernd Leno's injury, Martinez made more saves (31) than any other top-flight keeper and only trailed Nick Pope (85.3) and Ederson (81.8) in terms of save percentage (81.1). He kept three clean sheets, too.

    Only Bournemouth and Norwich City - both relegated - managed fewer clean sheets than Villa's seven last term, yet one of those came at home to Monday's visitors Sheffield United.

     

    LUCAS DIGNE

    Everton left-back Lucas Digne was certainly worth having on the opening weekend. He contributed to a clean sheet at Tottenham and also supplied the assist for Dominic Calvert-Lewin's decisive goal.

    But that display was no one-off.

    Only Liverpool pair Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson (both 13) have more Premier League assists from defence than Digne (eight) since the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

    Over that same spell, the Frenchman ranks second for chances created (73) and passes played into the box (320) by defenders and third (150) in terms of open-play crosses. He can test out that supply line at home to West Brom.

     

    TARIQ LAMPTEY

    Although beaten against former club Chelsea last time out, Tariq Lamptey continues to show himself to be an all-round package for Brighton and Hove Albion.

    From right-back, the 19-year-old has created the most chances from open play (eight - tied with two others), supplied the most crosses (24), completed the most dribbles (17) and made the most interceptions (19) of any Brighton player since June 2020.

    If Brighton get a result at Newcastle United, Lamptey is likely to be in the points.

     

    WILLIAN

    New signing Willian gave Arsenal fans and fantasy managers alike a taste of what they can expect on opening day.

    At Fulham, he became the first player to contribute two assists on his Premier League debut for Arsenal since Ray Parlour against Liverpool in August 1992.

    Since June 2020, Willian trails only Robertson (six) in terms of assists (four) and Kevin De Bruyne (40) for chances created (28), with struggling West Ham up next at home.

     

    BRUNO FERNANDES

    Joining in January, Bruno Fernandes quickly established himself as a star fantasy performer last season. There is little reason to suggest he will not be similarly effective this term.

    The Manchester United midfielder has been involved in 20 goals (including eight assists) in all competitions since his arrival from Sporting CP, the most of any of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's players.

    Indeed, Fernandes leads the way across the whole Premier League in that regard, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (17 involvements) second. United face Crystal Palace.

     

    HARRY KANE

    Tottenham talisman Harry Kane has tended to start Premier League seasons slowly, but his record against Southampton - this week's opponents - is particularly impressive.

    The England captain has nine goals in his past nine league games against the Saints, only tallying more often in clashes with Leicester City (14) and Arsenal (10).

    Kane will no doubt be determined to continue that scoring streak this weekend, having suffered a torn hamstring at Southampton in January that checked his 2019-20 campaign.

     

    JAMIE VARDY

    Needed to check he has still got it? Vardy again proved his worth with a brace for Leicester against West Brom last week.

    Those strikes improved his total since the start of last season to 25 in the league, while he also leads the way for shot conversion rates (27.47 per cent) among those with 10 or more goals in that time.

    Even at 33, it is too early to write off Vardy, who will aim to dampen Burnley's new-season optimism on Sunday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.