Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers drew flak for refusing to call New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady the greatest of all time (GOAT). Rivers earlier claimed that the GOAT debate shouldn’t be based entirely on championship victories. As of now, Brady leads the quarterback pack with six Super Bowl titles to his credit, but Rivers refused to use it as standard for greatness. Rivers’ assertion did not escape the attention of ESPN host and analyst Stephen A. Smith, who lambasted the Chargers quarterback for his comment. Smith said Brady has a 207-60 record as a quarterback in the regular season and 30-10 during the postseason while Rivers owns a 5-6 record in the playoffs and has yet to see action in even one Super Bowl.

“While you’re still playing, be quiet. I respect Philip Rivers, but damn it, no. You can’t be talking about Tom Brady,” said Smith. Rivers, in an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show”, said the GOAT talk could lead to a debate forever. However, Rivers clarified that he thought Brady was already one of the greatest.

Analyst says Brady leaving New England a possibility

In essence, signing Brady to a two-year contract extension would ensure that his career will end with the Patriots. However, the details in Brady’s contract indicated that the additional two years are voidable and he could turn free agent after the 2019 season. The contract also stipulates that the Patriots cannot use the franchise tag on Brady, meaning there’s no stopping his venture into free agency unless New England signs him to a new deal.

Days after signing the deal, the 42-year-old Brady put his Brookline, Massachusetts home on the market. When asked if this is a sign that Brady might leave the team that drafted him 199th overall in 2000, ESPN analyst Adam Schefter suggested that it could be a possibility. Reading the signs, Schefter said Brady is in a situation where this could be his last year in New England.

“It's just saying that this has the potential, one way or another, for this to be his last season in New England,” Schefter said.

Schefter claims no discord between Brady, Patriots

The ESPN analyst clarified that he’s only speculating because he’s not aware of any discord between Brady and the Patriots that could affect any future contract negotiations.

It was earlier reported by The Athletic’s Jeff Howe that the Patriots are willing to renegotiate the contract to prevent Brady from hitting the free-agent market. Two NFL advisers and a former NFL general manager predicted that Brady could earn between $35 million to $45 million a year if he hits the free-agent market. In a recent interview, Brady said he’s focused on leading the Patriots to their seventh Super Bowl trophy and not on his contract situation.