A lot of talk about NFL free agency, but not much being said
The official start of NFL free agency is still three weeks away. Of course, that has not stopped people from talking, sparking rumors, and generally offering various forms of speculation. Will Tom Brady leave the Patriots? Where is Philip Rivers going to find a new home? Will Dak Prescott get the franchise tag from Dallas?
Those are just some of the burning questions being discussed as the calendar soon turns from February to March.
Bunch of talk about Brady
Brady, who is obviously the biggest name on the market, may have to be the first domino to fall. Is he staying in New England, or is he going? Initial sentiment was that it would be too hard and there would be not enough reasons to leave the team for which the 42-year-old has played his entire career. Now there are varying degrees of belief that the Patriots’ Brady era is over. In fact, ESPN’S Jeff Darlington said on Thursday that he would be “stunned” if Brady doesn’t leave.
Michael Giardi of NFL Network, in his own words, “spoke with a number of NFL people over the last 36 hours or so here in Indy. The initial reaction has been, ‘There’s no way Tom Brady is leaving New England.’ But as you dig deeper, execs/coaches/scouts see the Titans, Raiders, and Giants as possible suitors.
“One exec said to me, ‘Is Tom Brady, better than Derek Carr? Is he better than (Ryan) Tannehill? If I was those organizations, I’d be thinking real hard about it.’ Another noted that it’s also not just a QB you’re getting, it’s the brand. There are games to be won and money to be made.’ Don’t discount the bottom line in this league. Ever.”
The bottom line is that Brady might leave; and he might not. Breaking news: one of those two things will happen! For now, we have no idea. Too many people are saying one thing and too many people are saying other things. Until something of substance comes from Brady himself or from Pats owner Robert Kraft (or Adam Schefter!), nothing is certain.
What to do with Dak?
Speaking of uncertainty, the Cowboys have to decide what to do with Prescott. If a long-term deal is still not agreed upon by March 12, they must place the franchise tag on Prescott in order to retain his rights at least through 2020. After that, the two sides would have until July 15 to work out a multi-year extension.
“Defenses get you to the championship,” new Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy said earlier this week. “The quarterbacks win championships. And I definitely think Dak is that quarterback.”
But what is McCarthy supposed to say about a QB who is currently his starter? “Nah, he’s not gonna win us a title. But, hey, at least he’s decent!” It would be like new Panthers head coach Matt Rhule saying, “I’m not too excited about the possibility of Cam Newton staying on our team,” when Newton is still contractually in Carolina! You just aren’t going to hear that kind of stuff.
Get used to this coach speak, player speak, media speak, and all other kind of speak. Until March 18, we probably won’t hear any truth bombs.