Hannable: Following Julian Edelman's contract extension, it only makes sense Tom Brady is next


No two players on the Patriots have a better connection than Tom Brady and Julian Edelman.

For the last 10 seasons, the two have worked extensively together, having arguably the best chemistry of any quarterback-wide receiver combo in the NFL. Brady’s offseason workout routine is intense, but only one receiver has consistently been there through the years and that is Edelman.

Following the news of Edelman receiving a two-year extension to go through the end of the 2021 season, the first thought that comes to mind is Brady has to be next.

As of now, Brady is only signed through the end of the season, but think about it — why would Edelman sign an extension if he didn’t believe Brady would be his quarterback for what likely will be the final two years of his career?

From Edelman’s perspective, he likely wants to spend the final years of his career competing for Super Bowls, not going through the growing pains of an organization integrating a young quarterback into the mix. It seems very unlikely the soon-to-be 33-year-old would sign an extension without having a good idea Brady will be his quarterback.

Given how close the two are, including working out together as recently as the last few weeks, Edelman probably as good of as idea to what is going on with Brady than anybody.

So, what is the hold up with Brady?

By all accounts and from what our understanding is, the quarterback can have his contract extended even though he had incentives added to his deal last August. Since he did not reach those incentives and make more money last year, his deal can be redone within the calendar year and should not have to wait until the end of August if he had seen an increase in pay.

Although, it is worth noting this hasn’t 100 percent been confirmed by the NFL.

It’s also worth noting typically Brady’s extensions have been worked out between the quarterback himself and owner Robert Kraft. With Kraft’s legal case still on-going it’s possible the two just haven’t had the time to sit down and hash things out. After all, it really doesn’t matter that it hasn’t happened yet, they have until the start of the season, and really until the end of the season for that matter. 

The only reason why it makes sense to get done in the short-term is to free up some cap space for the 2019 season. Right now, the Patriots have just under $4 million in cap space and Brady has a cap hit of $27 million. By extending him, the team can spread out that number over a few years and make it more manageable this season. 

It also isn’t like the team has a firm succession plan in place, either.

New England isn’t in a position to move on from Brady beginning after his current contract runs out even if it wants to. Jarrett Stidham could be the guy, but no one knows that yet and even if he is, he’s not going to be ready to take over the team beginning next season. Same goes for Danny Etling, and he has much less of a chance of being that guy.

Bottom line, while Brady’s contract doesn’t really need to be extended any time soon, Edelman’s extension is likely a sign of things to come.