Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his 20-year career on March 18, was asked Sunday whether he views it as a realistic possibility that he could play for another team.
"I'm open-minded about the process," Brady said in his weekly interview with Westwood One radio, when also asked whether he'd be willing to play elsewhere. "At the same time, I love playing football and I want to continue to play and do a great job. I'm looking forward to what's ahead. Whatever the future may bring, I'll embrace it with open arms."
On Saturday night, Brady was in Las Vegas for UFC 246, where he crossed paths with Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis. Photos of them together generated predictable buzz on social media, highlighting how Brady's future is not just arguably the biggest story of the upcoming NFL offseason, but in all of sports.
It is uncommon for a player of Brady's stature to reach free agency. As part of the revised contract he agreed to with the Patriots in August, the team can't assign him the franchise tag, which gives the 42-year-old Brady leverage to dictate his plans.
If Brady returns to the Patriots for a 21st season in 2020, he would tie former Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson for the longest tenure with a team in NFL history, according to ESPN's Stats & Information.
Brady said in his Westwood One interview that he's spent the past two weeks "decompressing from the season" and spending time with his family.