Bedard: If Patriots want an answer from Tom Brady, he should go radio-silent

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Word came today from the plugged-in Adam Schefter that the Patriots will likely want an answer from Tom Brady about his impending free agency before the tampering period begins on March 16.

“Here’s the situation: I don’t believe the New England Patriots are waiting until March 16 to get an answer from Tom Brady,” Schefter said. “Last year, Rob Gronkowski wound up retiring in late March. I don’t know the conversations they did and didn’t have before, but New England missed the window on free-agent tight ends. So I don’t think they’re going to let Tom Brady go to free agency, all of a sudden, sign with Team X, and then on March 20, say ‘Well, what do we do at quarterback now?’ That’s not the way that organization operates.”

If Schefter is right about the timeline, that means this:

March 15: Deadline for Brady to reach an extension with Patriots.
March 16, Midnight: Tampering period begins.
March 17: Brady's contract voids, meaning $13.5 million in dead cap in 2020 for Patriots.
March 18, 4 p.m.: New league year, free agency commences.

That seems all very convenient, all nice and tidy ... for the Patriots. It makes perfect sense for the team to want that.

There's only one problem with it: Brady shouldn't play ball with it. In fact, he should lose their number.