There is some good news in this regard as Goodell has conceded some of his power in disciplinary matters. The new deal allows for a neutral decision-maker for most commissioner discipline cases including personal conduct policy violations. However, Goodell remains in charge of all appeals, so while an agreed upon arbitrator would be involved in these decisions, Goodell would still be able to hear appeals and rule accordingly.
Tom Brady is unquestionably the GOAT. By next season, though, he will be 43 years old and possibly, no longer, a top 10 quarterback. Unless a team thinks he is the missing piece to get them to a Super Bowl in the next two years, I don't see a team paying him $20 million plus. You're obviously not going to rebuild around him. The only teams I could see making a run at him are the Raiders, (just to make a big splash on their move to Las Vegas), Chargers, (who basically don't even have a legit stadium or fans) and Tampa Bay, (a team with a string of losing seasons and no running game or defense). Maybe Indianapolis, Carolina, Chicago. Not to mention that Tom does not adjust easily to new receivers. And because of the cap hit he is carrying for NE, I see Tom returning to the Patriots on a two-year deal with a disappointing dollar amount (for him). What are your thoughts?
I largely don't disagree with much of your post. Brady at this stage of his career may no longer be able to carry the load for an offense to the point where he alone can bring a team to the Super Bowl. But I have full confidence that he can still play at a level high enough for a team with some weapons around him to win with him. You mention a few teams that might be interested, and we've heard that some have expressed interest, and they have some weapons that might be enticing for Brady. There would have been a sizable cap hit for Brady in New England whether he returned or not. Obviously if he re-signed before Wednesday at 4 p.m. the dead money would be $6.75 million instead of the $13.5 million if he left or signed later than that. But adding whatever salary he received to either total made it a sizable hit either way. To be honest, that's really not my concern. The only issue was whether or not the sides wanted to continue working with each other and it seems the answer to that was no. If Bill Belichick wanted Brady back, and Tom wanted to stay, then I was all for it. Otherwise, it made no sense if one party or the other wasn't fully committed and at that point it would be better to move on, which is where we are now.
What's the latest info on Gunner Olszewski, James Develin, David Andrews and Stephen Gostkowski? I haven't seen anything lately on the possibilities of any of them returning.
All four of those players are under contract for 2020. Olszewski is the only one of the four without many questions however. Develin suffered a neck injury and some people around him believe he will retire. Gostkowski underwent surgery to repair a hip injury and is working to be ready for training camp. Andrews' situation is different as it involves blood clots in his lungs and whether the treatments he underwent will allow him to continue playing. He says he's optimistic about returning this season but we have not heard anything officially as of yet. Gostkowski will likely have some competition with him in camp this summer, while Olszewski figures to get another chance to stick with the team as he did as a rookie.
With the resigning of both McCourty brothers and Matthew Slater, the Pats cap is rapidly shrinking. There doesn't seem any way they can sign Brady and make the moves in free agency to surround him with the talent it's been reported he is looking for. But with his other options rapidly shrinking and reports the Pats may have offered him less money than last year, do you think it's possible he reconsiders and retires?