Tom Brady is reportedly preparing for a potential departure from the New England Patriots as he heads into his offseason. The six-time Super Bowl champion is set to hit free agency.
CBS Sports' NFL insider Jason La Canfora is reporting that Brady is "prepared" to meet with other NFL teams this offseason.
Brady, 42, has made it clear that he wants to continue playing.
"In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You don't always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove," he wrote on Instagram.
He just might not have more to prove in New England.
It would be extremely surprising if Brady were to agree to any new pact with the Patriots prior to the start of free agency in March, I'm told, and while his process could still result in a return to New England it is far from certain at this point. Brady intends to take a methodical approach to his first foray into free agency, as, at age 42, this will be the final contract of his playing career.
Brady and his team will weigh all options available to determine which opportunity provides the best chance to continue competing for the Lombardi Trophy and to see what other organizations think of him at this late stage in his career. As one source put it, Brady will do his due diligence to assess all realistic possibilities, with it only "human nature" to explore this chance to embrace his free-agent status for the first time in his career.
Brady has been linked to several different NFL franchises so far. The Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans, among others, have been mentioned as potential options for Brady.
The Patriots could still be the favorite for Brady, though it wouldn't be surprising if Bill Belichick is ready to move on.
NFL free agency is set to begin on March 16.