When Tom Brady sidled up to Raiders owner Mark Davis at UFC 246 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, it didn’t take long for social media to start buzzing that #12 could be sporting silver and black if he returns to the field next season. That’s how crazy the speculation is regarding the famed New England quarterback, who will become an unrestricted free agent on March 17.

New England quarterback Tom Brady free agent
New England quarterback Tom Brady chats with Raiders owner Mark Davis in Las Vegas on Saturday night, fueling rumors he will leave the Patriots when his contract expires. (Image: Getty)

While Brady’s future status is making life miserable for Patriots fans who want nothing more than to see him back at Foxboro in 2020, sportsbooks are happily raking in the bets on where he’ll end up next season. Sportsbetting.ag’s line on whether Brady will return to New England is currently set at -300.

If he doesn’t play for New England, the Los Angeles Chargers are the next pick at +300. The Raiders and Cowboys are next at 7/1.

At BetOnline, however, the Chargers, Carolina Panthers, and Raiders are all at 6/1 to have Brady on their rosters next season. The Cleveland Browns were a favorite at 5/1 while rumors were circulating that New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would become their next head coach. When the Browns hired Minnesota offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski instead, the line dropped to 9-1. Carolina joined Cleveland at 9/1 when they chose Baylor coach Matt Rhule instead of McDaniels.

Brady Playing Coy

When Brady did a radio interview with Jim Gray for Westwood One on Sunday, he wasn’t exactly candid. He vaguely talked about the possibility of becoming a free agent.

“I’m open-minded about the process,” Brady said. “At the same time, I love playing football, and I want to continue to play and do a great job. So I’m looking forward to what’s ahead.”

Brady, who will turn 43-years-old in August, said he’s still decompressing from the past season.

“Whatever the future may bring, I’ll embrace it with open arms,” Brady said. “In the meantime, I’m going to watch these two games today as a fan, and enjoy them from my couch.”

One subject Brady has been very clear about is how long he wants to play. He has said on more than one occasion he wants to be in the NFL until he’s 45. The only thing that could derail that goal would be his health. Before the wild-card game with Tennessee, Brady said he “felt like a kid.”

Deciphering the Clues

Last summer, Brady and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bündchen, put their Massachusetts house up for sale. People were saying it was the first sign that Brady would be moving on from New England. Then, radio station WEEI’s Greg Hill reported last Tuesday that Bündchen’s suite at Gillette stadium has emptied.

“The Brady suite at Gillette Stadium where [Bündchen] has been known to watch her husband play football has been cleaned out,” Hill said. “It would appear to be, by those who are in the know, that it has been cleaned out in way that perhaps it has never has been cleaned out before.”

Further fueling rumors that Brady may be seeking to move onto warmer climes, is the story that LA Chargers current starting quarterback, Philip Rivers — who is also a free agent — has moved with his family to Florida. That could possibly open the door for the Chargers to go after a high-profile replacement, such as Brady.

While Brady remains mum about his future, recent interviews have him sounding like someone fondly remembering a former team.

“I never thought I would be playing 20 years in the NFL, and certainly never thought I would be picked to that team,” Brady said in a Sunday interview. “But, I’ve just played with a lot of great teammates, and great coaches, and a great organization … and played for Mr. [Robert] Kraft, and it’s been pretty sweet.”

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