Tom Brady finds out that (almost) no one wants a 43-year-old quarterback – msnNOW

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I doubt it. The longer this goes, the more it feels like Tom isn’t going anywhere. Because nobody wants to pay him $30 million per year for another two or three years.

Because he’ll be 43 bloody years old!

For the last year, it has amazed me that so little is made of Brady’s age. Truly. This is professional sports. Sure, Brady is different and the rules have allowed QBs to extend careers in a simulated bubble, but no athlete is at the top of their game at the age of 43.

Mariano Rivera is also a free agent. He probably could get you a few outs. But he’s 50.

Robert Parish is still 7 feet tall. But he’s 66.

In 2019, Brady posted his lowest passer rating and completion percentage since 2013. He threw his fewest touchdowns since 2006. He had his lowest yards per attempt since 2002.

No one seems to know what awaits Tom Brady.
No one seems to know what awaits Tom Brady.Stan Grossfeld

The second half of his season was dramatically worse than the first half. He failed to make the Pro Bowl for the first time since he blew out his ACL (2008) and had his worst Pro Football Focus player grade since 2009.

Some of this can be attributed to the lack of weaponry surrounding Brady, but not all of it. There were a lot of throws to the sideline and balls drilled into the dirt. He gave up on plays earlier than ever before. There were times when Brady simply looked like a 42-year-old man trying to play a young man’s game. Willie Mays, circa 1973.

So why is there this widespread local notion that Brady can command a huge, multiyear contract when he’s going to be 43?

He can’t. Unless he wants to be somebody’s franchise freak show. As in Tampa Bay.

Ugh. Really, Tom? The Bucs? Why not go Full Sellout and join the Jags? The XFL is probably hiring.

The Brady Watch is in full bloom now that the legal tampering period has started, but after all the noise and cryptic Instagram clues, it turns out that there is little frenzy for the services of a 43-year-old quarterback. Not even if he’s Tom Brady.

There were supposed to be eight teams interested in Brady. Where’d they go? One by one, the alleged interest in Brady has been exposed as a media-driven mythology.

Remember the Titans? They were supposed to be all-in on Brady. They have a winning team, a need for a winning QB, and a coach who loves Tom. We all saw the video of Tom face-timing Mike Vrabel when Tom and Julian Edelman were at a Syracuse basketball game a couple of weeks ago. We heard the rumors about Tom and Super G checking out schools in Nashville.

Nope. The Titans dropped out Sunday when they extended the contract of the immortal Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill, a longtime Dolphin who turns 32 in July, signed a four-year, $118 million extension with the Titans. He’s not much of a postseason gunslinger, but he is 11 years younger than Brady, and the Titans went further with him than the Patriots went with Brady last year.

The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, appear to be content with 28-year-old Jimmy Garoppolo. Folks around here were stunned when a Bay area poll showed that 80 percent of Niner fans would rather have Jimmy G than Brady. I was not stunned.

Brady could no doubt win next year with the Niners, but teams have to plan beyond next year. You simply don’t do that unless you are a team like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Could Bruce Arians and the Bucs be a landing spot for Brady?
Could Bruce Arians and the Bucs be a landing spot for Brady?Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

The Vikings were rumored to have interest in Brady, but they dropped out of the Brady Derby Monday when they gave Kirk Cousins a two-year extension for $66 million.

We’re still hearing about the Chargers, the Raiders, the Colts, and the Dolphins, but most of the talk now is about Tampa or Foxborough.

Tampa. Whee! With Brady playing in Tampa Bay, the TB12 marketing possibilities are infinite. But you won’t win many games.

Meanwhile, the Patriots have the look of a team prepping for one last roundup with the old gang. Matthew Slater and Devin McCourty just got two-year contract extensions. The Patriots have the oldest defense in the league, but they know the AFC East will be a cakewalk again. They know they can get to a first-round bye with 43-year-old Tom at quarterback.

Getting Brady to play on another team-friendly one-year deal is a much better option than going with Jarrett Stidham, Andy Dalton, or Teddy Bridgewater.

Meet the new Patriot QB, same as the old Patriot QB. Tom Brady isn’t going anywhere. Take it from the guy who told you Pablo Sandoval would be a big hit in Boston.


Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at daniel.shaughnessy@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_shaughnessy.

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