- A phone call between New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick on Tuesday did not go well, according to The Boston Herald.
- Brady is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career on March 18, and his future with the Patriots is uncertain.
- There have been conflicting reports about the free-agent market for the 43-year-old quarterback.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
With quarterback Tom Brady's first dip into NFL free agency rapidly approaching, relations with the New England Patriots — his team of 20 years — may be shaky.
According to Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald, Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke on the phone on Tuesday, and their conversation "didn't go well."
According to Guregian, it was the first time the two had connected to discuss Brady's contract.
Brady set his contract up to expire after the 2019 season, allowing him to hit free agency for the first time. Rumors have persisted all season that the 43-year-old quarterback really could leave New England.
Guregian reported that the market for Brady has been described as "very good." He doesn't officially become an unrestricted free agent until March 18, but rumors have already suggested that the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers might all be interested in pursuing Brady.
Rumors of the 49ers' interest, in particular, heated up this week after Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston said the Niners are "closing hard on the outside." Brady is from the Bay Area and grew up a Niners fan.
However, the speculation has also raised eyebrows in the NFL world. Michael Giardi of NFL Network tweeted on Wednesday that Brady's market isn't "nearly as strong as is being portrayed," meaning people may be trying to drive up interest.
Additionally, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said on Wednesday that some of the rumors surrounding Brady's free-agency options have come from people not involved in the situation.
"A lot of the same people who are trusted sources on their own guys are fantastically entertaining rumor mongers on other guys," Rapoport said.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday that Brady and Belichick's call was "business as usual."
Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots are all likely to connect further in the days leading up to free agency, and, of course, afterward. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero said on Wednesday that Bill Belichick may be the only person who knows how the two sides might chart a path forward.
"There might only be one person on the planet who goes know the answer to that and that's Bill Belichick," Pelissero said. "My understanding is that the lines of communication have not been completely closed here. In fact, I'm told that Tom Brady has spoken with owner Robert Kraft. But Kraft is not the guy making the football decisions. That all falls on Belichick."
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