Tom Brady Isn't the Only Star Who Could Leave the Patriots in Free Agency This Offseason

Jason Schandl
The Patriots' free agency period could see a huge shift in the makeup of the team, with multiple star players' contracts expiring.
The Patriots' free agency period could see a huge shift in the makeup of the team, with multiple star players' contracts expiring. / Elsa/Getty Images

It's no secret what the top offseason storyline is for the New England Patriots. Franchise quarterback and future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady has a real chance of playing somewhere else for the first time in his career.

Brady's not the only big-name free agent the Pats need to make a decision on, though, as Joe Thuney and Devin McCourty are both set to hit the open market, and could be playing elsewhere in 2020, according to recent reports from ESPN.

This whole situation puts the Patriots in a real bind. It's a complicated predicament, because how likely they are to bring back any of those stars could depend heavily on what the others do. If Brady is back, we know the Pats are going to continue in win-now mode, pushing for one more Super Bowl.

Things get really murky if they lose the key pieces. At that point, tearing it down for a complete rebuild would probably be the most beneficial long-term move. Bill Belichick is also nearing the end of his career, though, and he may not be thrilled at the proposition of fielding a relatively uncompetitive team at this point. Of course, on the other side of the coin, there are few people better qualified to help guide a squad of young players in the right direction for future success.

This is also an unprecedented offseason in terms of how many starting-level quarterbacks could be available. Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston and Ryan Tannehill could all keep the Pats in playoff contention without Brady, and that could have the organization looking to lock up Thuney and McCourty regardless of Brady's decision.

The Patriots are notorious for playing their cards close to their chest, and it's hard to put too much faith into any of the buzz coming out around the situation.

There's no denying it, though. For the first time since Brady took over as the starting QB in 2001, this offseason could see the Patriots shift from contenders to a rebuilding team in short order.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.