The New England Patriots haven’t started contract discussions with veteran quarterback Tom Brady because of the uncertainty about the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Adam Schefter of ESPN made this contention amid multiple reports that Brady could leave the Patriots after a 20-year stint and join another team when free agency begins. Also, there were multiple reports that Brady and the Patriots have yet to engage in contract talks. “Hard to try to structure a contract without knowing what rules will be,” Schefter said in a tweet.

Schefter added it would be easier for Brady and head coach Bill Belichick to discuss everything, including how a contract could be structured if the status of the CBA is known.

Schefter said a source told him that “without knowing about the CBA, that talk can’t happen.” Earlier, it was reported that Brady’s agent, Don Yee, and the Patriots are expected to talk at the NFL Combine this week.

The team owners recently approved a new CBA, but the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) wants the full membership to vote on it. Per a report by Chris Bumbaca of USA Today, the proposed CBA will increase regular-season games to 17 while players will receive 48 percent of the revenue, giving them an additional $5 million during the life of the agreement when paired with the projected revenue growth. The new agreement also includes an expanded playoff setup of 14 teams, with only the top seed in each conference receiving a first-round bye.

ESPN reporter believes Brady would leave Patriots

Jeff Darlington of ESPN told “Get Up” that he cannot see the 42-year-old Brady re-signing with the Patriots as the veteran is set on exploring free agency. “I’m now at the point where I would be stunned if Tom Brady went back to New England,” Darlington said. According to his sources, Darlington said Brady is operating under the belief he will enter free agency and sign with a team other than the Patriots.

Also, Darlington said the veteran quarterback has shared this sentiment with others, according to a report by Ricky Doyle of the New England Sports Network (NESN). However, Darlington clarified in a Twitter post that there is a chance that the Patriots could convince Brady to stay when contract negotiations begin.

Buccaneers could interest Brady

There were reports that Brady and wide receiver Antonio Brown want to play together again. However, that wouldn’t materialize if Brady stays with the Patriots, who cut Brown after just 11 days last season due to his legal woes. According to former NFL linebacker LaVar Arrington, there is a possibility that the reunion could happen if Brady signs with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Arrington said Brady could be attracted by Bucs wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans and the team could make it a triple threat by adding Brown to the fold. “It would be an explosive triplet set that Tom Brady has. It could very much work in Tampa,” Arrington told FS1’s “Speak For Yourself.” It was reported that Brady wants the Patriots to invest in additional weapons on offense if he decides to stay in New England.