Peter King on D&K: Gut tells me Tom Brady cares more about surrounding talent than money

Ryan Hannable
January 09, 2020 - 1:15 pm
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No one knows what Tom Brady is going to do this offseason, even those who are very close to the 42-year-old.

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One of those people is NBC Sports' Peter King, who spoke to Brady following the Wild Card loss last weekend about his future. King joined Dale & Keefe for his weekly appearance and speculated what Brady will care most about as he decides what he wants to do next season and that is who is around him opposed to money.

“If you’re asking me to read the tea-leaves on it, I think as important or more important to Tom Brady in 2020 and perhaps in 2021 is the cast that will surround him," King said. "And I just think — I remember watching the highlights after the Patriots' win at Buffalo and looking up at Tom Brady after that game talking. He’s talking like his dog just died. It looks like he’s miserable. When I saw that I said, ‘Of course he’s happy they won, but in opinion, just my opinion, I think he’s miserable right then because he realizes we might win our division, our division stinks, but we’re not winning a Super Bowl with this team, with this offensive unit.' And it isn’t to say he doesn’t like those guys or anything like that, that is not the point. The point is he has to be realistic about what the Patriots were this year. That is either the worst or one of the two or three worst sets of offensive talent around Tom Brady that he’s had in 19 years as a NFL starter. 

“This is just my feeling, again zero inside information, my gut feeling is that Tom Brady is going to put a premium on what he has around him, and this is just my opinion, if you would compare Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler and Hunter Henry and Keenan Allen, you compare that set of talent right now to what the Patriots have, it’s not very close. So, I don’t know what he’s going to do, but just a gut feeling, I think the surrounding cast is going to be a little bit more important than money.”

King also spoke with Robert Kraft and it's clear he would like Brady to either play for the Patriots or retire, but it seems like retiring is not going to happen.

“Robert Kraft has spent 20 years being a pretty good partner with Bill Belichick — probably a Hall of Fame partner with Bill Belichick and vise-versa," King said. "We do not know how all of this is going to work, but it’s very clear that Robert Kraft would like the Patriots quarterback in 2020, or to retire depending on what he wants to do. The unfortunate part of that is he has two-thirds of the options for Tom Brady, but he doesn’t have the most important one-third in there, which is A, Brady is not retiring and B, I don’t think he’d really mind playing somewhere else. I don’t think he is looking to play somewhere else, but if that is what happens, then it happens.

“But obviously, I think Bill Belichick, you have to read between the lines with what he said the other day, and basically what Bill Belichick said is that it is going to take a lot of people to make this decision. This is not just one person making this decision. So, when I left my meeting with Robert Kraft, I thought, ‘OK, I know what he wants.’ But, I don’t think we’ll know what Bill Belichick wants here for a little while.”

Brady cannot officially sign with another team until March 18, but he can re-sign with the Patriots at any time.

Related: Detailing Tom Brady’s contract with important information as he potentially becomes free agent