Five-time Pro Bowler makes Tom Brady prediction, says there’s one perfect landing spot in free agency


There aren’t too many star players in the NFL who know what it’s like to negotiate with Bill Belichick, but one player who has gone through the process of trying to hammer out a monstrous free agent deal with the Patriots coach is five-time Pro Bowler Aqib Talib. Although Talib doesn’t have any inside information on what’s going to happen with Tom Brady when free agency kicks off on March 18, the All-Pro corner has dealt with Belichick before, and based on that alone, he thinks that Brady will definitely be leaving New England this offseason. 

“I think Tom is gone, I think it’s a done deal and Bill is going to be Bill,” Talib said during a recent interview on NFL Network. 

The 34-year-old, who was traded to the Patriots in 2012, had to deal with Belichick in the negotiating room after he became a free agent following the 2013 season. Just before free agency, Talib had at least one awkward phone call with the Patriots coach, and he’s seeing the same thing happen to Brady. A report in early March suggested that Brady and Belichick had a call that “didn’t go well” at some point shortly after the combine. 

“Them calls are going to be short and to the point,” Talib said. “We got a report that said it didn’t go well, I can imagine. I had a call that didn’t go well with Bill, so I can imagine what happened on that call.”

According to Talib — and other former Patriots players — Belichick can be a ruthless negotiator, and the Patriots coach is someone who won’t overpay for anyone, including Tom Brady. 

“I got a call from Bill that said, ‘If you want to make a bunch of money, then you’re going to make a bunch of money. If you want to play some football and win some games, then we have a spot for you here,'” Talib said. “If he treated everybody the same in the meeting room, he’s probably treating everybody the same around free agency time as well.”

Although Talib wanted to play for the Patriots, he ended up following the money in 2014. Instead of re-signing with New England, Talib signed a six-year, $57 million deal with the Broncos. 

As for where Brady might end up if he leaves New England, Talib seems to think that there would be one perfect landing spot for the Patriots quarterback. According to Talib, who has spent his past two seasons in Los Angeles with the Rams, Brady’s best bet in free agency would be to sign with the Chargers. 

“The window of opportunity is open for Tom, and I think L.A. is the perfect place for Tom,” Talib said. “I mean, there’s receivers there, there’s running backs there. I think they’ll have to find a left tackle who he feels comfortable with, and there’s some guys out there — maybe in the draft, maybe in free agency.”

Talib isn’t the only one who thinks Brady would be a good fit with the Chargers, Austin Ekeler also feels the same way, although his vote probably shouldn’t count since he actually plays for the Chargers. As for Talib, he thinks the Chargers defense would also be a selling point for Brady.  

“I think if you got Tom with the L.A. Chargers, they got a defense, two pass-rushers, a Derwin James-Casey Hayward led secondary, these guys are ready to compete and a guy like Tom Brady could get them over the jump,” Talib said. 

Of course, one thing that could keep the Chargers from going after Brady is that the veteran quarterback reportedly has a few small demands for any team that might want to sign him in free agency. The 43-year-old wants some say in the roster and some say in the play-calling, and if the Chargers aren’t willing to offer that, then Brady might scratch them off his free agent list. You can read more about those demands by clicking here





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