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NFL Notes: Tom Brady, Patriots, Bills, Vikings

Tom Brady

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes that there’s a “nagging thought” that Tom Brady doesn’t really expect to play until he’s 45 and is instead setting everyone up for a surprise retirement either next spring or the one after.

Volin says there’s plenty of evidence that this could, in fact, be the case.

The first of which is the simple fact that the Patriots elected to hold on to backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo when he’s entering a contract year and could have been traded for a big return this offseason. On Thursday, Adam Schefter mentioned that he expects the Patriots to figure out a way to keep Garoppolo beyond the 2017 season.

Volin points out that Brady and Garoppolo share the same agent, which means Garoppolo will have a good idea of what the Patriots’ plans are moving forward.

Other indications that Brady could be preparing to transition away from the NFL, according to Volin, are the fact that he’s ramped up his off-field branding this year and the talk from his wife and family that would like him around more.

Bills

Bills veteran C Eric Wood said he’s getting close to being 100 percent healthy after suffering a broken leg last year.

“I would say I’m close to a hundred percent, but not fully a hundred percent,” Wood said, via the Buffalo News.

Wood added that he never had any thoughts other than how he could get back to the field.

“I know some guys in their career have faced injuries and then they have to make a decision whether they’re going to play or not and I’ve never had an injury like that where I didn’t immediately say, ‘OK, what’s the plan? When am I back and what’s the quickest route to being back?’” Wood said. “So I never had any stray thoughts of like, this could be it or what not. I mean, you can always be replaced in this league, but I still feel like I play at a high enough level that I’ll be OK.”

Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings were aggressive this year in signing undrafted free agents, as they gave out a total of $85,000 worth of signing bonuses to their 13 signings.

We were very aggressive in signing college free agents and we probably spent the most, I think, probably the most money since I have been here and tried to get the best talent out there,” Vikings GM Rick Spielman said, via Ben Goessling of ESPN. “We were very aggressive and had a game plan of how we were going to attack this so we could get better at it.

The Vikings spent a good portion of this on LSU DE Tashawn Bower, who secured a $15,000 signing bonus and $30,000 guaranteed.

Other notable bonuses include:

  • Mississippi DT Dylan Bradley – ($15,000 bonus, $25,000 guarantee)
  • TCU OT Aviante Collins – ($15,000 bonus, $20,000)
  • Cincinnati LB Eric Wilson – ($10,000 signing bonus, $10,000 base-salary guarantee)
  • SMU CB Horace Richardson – ($7,500 bonus, $15,000 base-salary guarantee)
  • Montana DE Caleb Kidder – ($7,500 salary guarantee, $2,500 bonus)