Hannable: What is Tom Brady looking to get this offseason?

Ryan Hannable
April 19, 2018 - 11:20 am

Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports

No matter how much some try and dispute it, things haven’t been normal this offseason in Foxboro with the Patriots.

The biggest difference, and certainly most noteworthy, is with Tom Brady.

There’s a laundry list of things not normal by the quarterback's standards that have occurred this offseason: putting out his Tom vs. Time documentary, not signing a contract extension to lower his cap hit ($22 million), not attending the start of the offseason workout program, having a report come out that he hasn’t committed to playing next season and finally, seemingly going against Bill Belichick for the first time really ever publicly (commenting on teammates’ social media posts).

Brady has been the ultimate team player ever since he came into the league, so what changed this offseason? What is Brady looking to get?

It’s a loaded question and a layered answer with a number of factors playing a role.

Ultimately, Brady seems to be looking for any leverage he can get against the organization, especially when it comes to missing out on the start of the offseason workouts and seemingly leaking he hasn’t committed to playing in 2018 yet.

What is he looking to get with his leverage? It could be a number of different things.

First off, getting his personal trainer Alex Guerrero back in the building. It seems one of the biggest issues between Brady and Belichick is Guerrero’s status at the Gillette Stadium facility. During last season, Guerrero was banned from working with players inside the stadium besides Brady, and he could no longer travel with the team.

Guerrero is the person who Brady has latched onto the most in recent years and seems to be most important to him. He used to have full access to the team and it seems like the quarterback wants things to get back somewhere close to what they once were.

Another possibility is a new contract. While not attending the voluntary offseason workouts is not a holdout by any means, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said Wednesday Brady would like a new contract before the start of next season.

"What's his salary going to be? He still has two years left, making $14 million [per year], this was the only question that I kind of discussed after the Super Bowl this past year was is Tom Brady going to get a new contract?," Rapoport said. "At this point it is still unresolved. My understand is, yes, it's something he wants before next season."

Brady has two years left on his deal and has base salaries of $14 million each of those years with cap hits of $22 million. Compared to other quarterbacks across the league, Brady is underpaid and has taken pay-cut after pay-cut over the years. Maybe as his career comes to a close, those days are over.

Another thing, although a bit of a long-shot and a stretch, Brady could potentially be trying to get Belichick out as coach and have Josh McDaniels take over. Of course that wouldn't happen this year, but maybe for 2019. Brady is very close with McDaniels and the two work well together, while Brady seems to be getting tired of Belichick’s culture.

There were his comments on teammates’ social media posts this offseason, which seemed to go against Belichick’s decision-making and overall atmosphere with the team, and also, don’t forget Gisele Bundchen’s comments in the final episode of Tom vs. Time.

“These last two years have been very challenging for him in so many ways,” she said. “And he tells me, ‘I love it so much and I just want to go to work and feel appreciated and have fun.’”

Brady is not going to be able to change the way Belichick acts, but with what has taken place this offseason, it would indicate Brady wouldn’t be opposed to playing for a new coach, especially when the head coach in waiting seems to be McDaniels.

It’s hard to say exactly what Brady is looking for, and it probably isn’t one specific thing, but if Brady had his way with everything, Guerrero would be back in the building, he would get a new contract and Belichick’s culture would change a bit to create a more relaxed atmosphere.

Clearly, things are not normal in Foxboro this offseason and Brady’s actions are at the top of the list of being uncharacteristic. 

What exactly he’s looking to accomplish isn’t clear, but it’s certainly something.

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