Everyone's talking about Tom Brady today.
We'll start today with ESPN's blog because the self-proclaimed "worldwide leader in sports" was first with the news of Brady's two-year contract extension. The report has yet to be confirmed by the team, but assuming it's accurate, Brady is now under wraps until he's 42.
"The Patriots, currently with about $13 million in salary-cap space (close to one of the lowest totals among teams), have four up-and-coming defenders whose contracts expire after the 2016 season: linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower, defensive end Chandler Jones, and cornerback Malcolm Butler," the post states. "Because of this, the team has to be smart in the financial commitments it makes, managing its salary cap with a strategy that accounts for the possibility of big-ticket extensions for Collins, Hightower, Jones and Butler, among others. As part of that strategy of managing the cap, it makes sense to start at the top [with Brady]."
One of the ESPN reporters who broke the story appeared on Boston radio station WEEI to expound on the report, as chronicled on the station's website.
"He was scheduled to make $9 million in base this upcoming season, $10 million the year after," Adam Schefter began. "He wants to play into his 40s so this deal accomplishes that, gives him more money, deserves whatever they are paying him. Deserves every penny of it. Guarantees him more. Gets him more in line with some of the top quarterbacks in the league and that is a win for Tom Brady."
Boston.com has an editorial on Brady's potentially historic signing, which, if seen to its completion, would make TB12 one of only a handful of NFL players ever to suit up for 20 years with one team.
"Only [Detroit kicker] Jason Hansen, [Washington corner] Darrell Green, and Matthew Slater's old man [L.A. Rams tackle] Jackie Slater played 20 seasons with a single team," the author points out in part. "That would be a hell of an addendum to Brady's already iconic legacy."
Comcast SportsNet New England's website offers five thoughts on Brady's new deal.
ESPN also has a blog post that considers the future of backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo in the wake of Brady's contract extension.
"[P]erhaps a perfect scenario," the writer offers, "would be for the Patriots to draft another quarterback in the middle rounds this year (e.g. Stanford's Kevin Hogan), and consider carrying three on the roster in 2016. That would position them well if Garoppolo has an excellent preseason and potentially becomes a valuable trade asset in 2017."
The Boston Globe also speculates on Garoppolo's future with New England.
"Brady's deal means it now becomes a matter of 'when,' not 'if,' the Patriots should trade Garoppolo," writes the Globe. "He was viewed as Brady's potential successor when the Patriots drafted him in the second round in 2014 (62d overall), the highest draft pick the team has used on a quarterback since Brady has held the job.
"But for two years, Garoppolo has been a bystander, riding the pine while Brady put together two of the best seasons of his career. With Brady still on top of his game and now signed for another four years, the Patriots don't need the Garoppolo insurance policy for the future."
*The Providence Journal *takes an alternate view, saying New England should hang onto Garoppolo for the time being.
"It's neither fair, nor realistic, to expect Jimmy G. to be the next Brady. It would be ideal if he could be Steve Young to Brady's Joe Montana, but that's asking a lot, too. He has, however, shown some promise. Enough that it would take a lot – more, probably, than most teams would be willing to offer – in a trade to pry Garoppolo away from me at this point."
The Boston Herald examines both the Brady deal and what it means for Garoppolo in one compact piece.
In other Brady-related news, the Herald looks ahead with a primer for Thursday's Brady-vs-NFL court proceedings.
WEEI.com cites an expert who predicts that Brady will emerge victorious in the case once again.
Elsewhere, CSNNE.com has a report detailing why the NFL might be looking into the recent Gronkowski party cruise. Meanwhile, the Patriots tight end was celebrating at the Oscars this past weekend, according to several media outlets.