This is just nuts. Why is this even news if everyone around him knows he's going to come back? Is this some sort of ploy to get another contract extension and make more money? Is he trying to scare Bill Belichick?
Brady was working out with Julian Edelman at the Patriots' facilities last week. If he wasn't going to play next season, I really don't think he would have done that. And before anyone hits me with the "but he's missing OTAs!!!" crap, spare me.
Brady has missed OTAs before. That's nothing new.
Furthermore, why would Brady, who has said he wants to play until his mid-forties and continually professes his love for the sport, suddenly change his mind in mid-April? This isn't the same type of situation that James Harrison, who just retired, was in.
If he just up and left the Patriots, that would put a lot of strain on his relationship with the Krafts. He is still close with them and they've defended him at every turn. If his relationship with Belichick is already strained, why make things worse?
Brady also cares about his image. Think about what people would be saying if he hung it up not even a season after the Patriots committed to him by trading Jimmy Garoppolo, whom Belichick reportedly wanted to be the next franchise quarterback.
And if you want more proof that Brady will play next year, watch this interview he did a month ago with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America.
In the interview, Brady says he's already started thinking about next season and reiterates his love for the game and for his team. There's no chance, given the way he is, that he could have such a drastic change of heart a month after this interview.
Personally, I think this is about money. Sure, he makes money from endorsements, his TB12 Method book and all that. But he makes $15 million a year and is the greatest quarterback to play the sport. He has been completely unselfish when it comes to his salary throughout his career because he always put the team first. But he will be 41 years old when the season starts and he knows the end is near. He knows he is worth more than $15 million. Why not be paid like it at least once?
Even if he doesn't get a raise, he will still play. Brady doesn't strike anyone as the type to just quit on something like this just because of money.
And if you believe that any of these reports, you're insane.