NFL Notebook: Will Brady be back?

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Dan Halverson

February 23rd, 2022

The NFL offseason is here, and that means roster movement all over the league. While there isn’t any activity on the gridiron itself, there are plenty of stories hitting the airwaves. Let’s take a spin around the league in this edition of our NFL Notebook.

Will Brady return?

Undoubtedly the biggest potential blockbuster story of the early offseason is the report that legendary quarterback Tom Brady may be interested in un-retiring after claiming to be done with the game at the end of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season.

At 44 years old and with the most decorated record in NFL history, it is more than reasonable for Brady to be finished. And yet, on the heels of a highly successful and effective 2021 season and just two years removed from a Super Bowl victory, Brady also clearly has the ability to excel and perform at an MVP level.

The question now is whether Brady does in fact want to return to the field, where in a comical twist of fate he may come in to replace Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco after Jimmy G spent several years as Brady’s backup in New England. Brady allegedly grew tired of Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, and the 49ers clearly have an equally talented roster for Brady to join.

It would be a significant and power-shifting move if Brady chose to make such a decision, but it doesn’t seem impossible. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is young and energetic, and players like Deebo Samuel surely excite Brady. Shanahan is known for his excellent blocking schemes as well, which Brady has surely noticed during his time studying film across the league.

Aaron Rodgers Watch

Not far behind the Brady watch in terms of interesting subplots is the offseason activity of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers was the 2021 MVP after being questionable to return to the Packers. Now he is reportedly considering three distinctly different possibilities: Continuing with the Packers, retiring, or pursuing a new team such as the Denver Broncos.

Rodgers recently posted a series of Instagram photos that many believe show some level of significance. Photos of longtime friends and wide receivers Randall Cobb and Davante Adams standing during the national anthem seem to denote that he will no longer be standing with them moving forward, but Rodgers claims they are merely a sign of appreciation.

Rodgers is going to be closely watched until he makes a definitive decision, but as with Brady, whatever he does will have far-reaching implications on several teams around the league.

Washington Commanders Soldier On

In case you missed it, the Washington Football Team has finally made its decision to become the Washington Commanders. It comes with a new crest, logo, and branding mission that aligns with the history of the city of Washington.

It also comes with a whole bunch of new merchandise that owner Daniel Snyder would surely love to push out in great bulk to help pay for the crumbling infrastructure of the Commanders’ stadium or potential litigation related to it.

It is a good name and a cool crest for a team that we now must try and retrain our brains to recognize.

J.C. Jackson isn't feeling the love

No player in NFL history has recorded more interceptions in his first four years than New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson.

Jackson has 25 interceptions over that span, and he believes that’s reason enough to earn a significant contract from the Patriots, but none seems imminent. With the franchise-tag window opening on Tuesday, Jackson claims the Patriots have made no move to discuss his contract.

Jackson is concerned that the Patriots don’t value him and/or are choosing not to show it. This certainly sounds like the Pats’ MO, as the franchise has a history of not fawning over high-profile and highly-productive players during Bill Belichick’s tenure.

The Patriots are surely interested in keeping Jackson in New England, but it also wouldn’t be surprising if they sold high on Jackson to acquire more pieces to build around young quarterback Mac Jones.