Veteran quarterback Tom Brady has responded to fans calling on him to stay with the New England Patriots. On his Instagram story, captured by Dakota Randall of New England Sports Network (NESN), the 42-year-old Brady posted a “stay Tom” message drawn by some Patriots fans somewhere in the Boston area. The veteran quarterback responded to it by posting “Love you all” with two heart emojis. Brady is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his 20-year career on March 18 and there are persistent reports connecting Brady to the Los Angeles Chargers and to the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders.

In his latest interview with Jim Gray on Westwood One Radio, Brady said he will be open-minded to the free-agency process and added that he will embrace whatever the future brings. In that interview, Brady also reiterated his plan to continue playing football and “do a great job.”

Patriots remain as best option for Brady

Last season, Brady led the Patriots to a 12-4 record but missed a chance to clinch a first-round bye when they lost to the Miami Dolphins in their season finale. The Patriots then suffered a 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card Game.

Several analysts, recently Mike Greenberg, have said that the Patriots remain as Brady’s best option if he wants to win another Super Bowl title before he calls it a career. Former NFL kicker Pat McAfee insisted that the Raiders will be a bad fit for Brady while Colin Cowherd said it would be best for Brady to stay with the Patriots rather than learn a new system with the Chargers under a new coaching staff.

The NFL experts also agree that the Patriots should add more weapons for Brady in case he returns to the team. The Patriots can sign Brady between now and March 18 to prevent him from testing the free-agent market where he could receive lucrative deals. However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that Brady plans to speak with other teams in free agency before making his final decision.

Namath gives his take on Brady’s future

In his NFL career, Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath played 12 seasons with the New York Jets leading them to a Super Bowl win in 1968. However, Namath finished his career not with the Jets, but with the Los Angeles Rams. Brady, for his part, has played 20 seasons with the Patriots, so it would be hard for Namath to imagine the greatest of all time playing in another uniform. “It’s almost beyond my belief that he would go to another team under any circumstances,” Namath told Rich Cimini of ESPN. The Hall of Fame quarterback added that it would be hard for Brady to leave the area and the team that he’s been accustomed to.

“I don’t think he’ll ever leave that totally behind, I really don’t,” added Namath.

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