Is Tom Brady Leaving the Patriots? Colts and Giants Not in the Race for Veteran QB

Tom Brady's future remains up in the air, but it seems increasingly certain the veteran quarterback will not board a flight to New York or Indianapolis this free agency.

The six-time Super Bowl winner is scheduled to become a free agent on March 18 and the New England Patriots cannot franchise tag him.

In theory, at least, that means Brady could walk away from New England for the first time in his professional career. In recent weeks, rumors surrounding Brady's future have come thick and fast, with a host of franchises reportedly interested in luring the 42-year-old away from Foxborough ahead of next season.

The Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants are just some of the teams featuring on a lengthy list of suitors.

According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, however, for the latter pair the race is already run.

The report suggests both the Giants and the Colts can be "crossed off the list" of teams pursuing Brady if he does indeed opt to become a free agent this month.

After years of taking pay cuts to help matters for the Patriots, there is a feeling Brady could use free agency to guarantee himself a lucrative final few years in the NFL.

In that respect, both Indianapolis and New York would have represented ideal destinations. As per overthecap.com, the Colts and the Giants rank second and sixth in terms of cap space available, with $86.1 million and $73.9 million respectively.

However, neither team will get to splash a large chunk of their available funds on Brady.

The Colts have made inquiries about Philip Rivers, who last month parted ways with the Los Angeles Chargers after 16 years.

Following Eli Manning's retirement, meanwhile, the Giants appear fully committed to Daniel Jones. The sixth overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft started 12 games in his rookie season and is expected to be handed the keys to the Giants' offense in 2020.

While both teams had the financial muscle to afford Brady, it would have been surprising to see the six-time Super Bowl winner opt to join either.

Brady will be 43 by the time next season kicks off and while he's previously stated he's determined to play until he's 45, it would make sense for him to join a team ready to win as soon as possible.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 4 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/Getty

Neither the Colts, who went 7-9 last season, nor the Giants, who finished 4-12, fit the bill in that respect.

Aside from his football pedigree, landing Brady would be a major coup for both the Chargers and the Raiders, given both franchises will be moving into new, shiny stadiums from next season.

In Tennessee, Brady would be reunited with Mike Vrabel, whom he played with for eight seasons in New England. Vrabel has successfully made the transition to head coach and last season guided the Titans to the AFC Championship Game, defeating the Patriots in the wild card round.

Tennessee can franchise tag quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was instrumental in the outfit's run to the playoffs.

Since being named a starter in Week 7 in place of Marcus Mariota, the former Texas A&M alumni guided Tennessee to seven wins in the next 10 regular-season games and all the way to the AFC Championship Game.

The report from Sports Illustrated added that the Patriots have a 40 percent chance of retaining Brady, while the Titans chances of landing the veteran quarterback also stand at 40 percent and the remaining 20 percent includes other potential suitors.