Tom Brady can’t even play catch with other Patriots during his suspension
The league’s most brutal opening schedule doesn’t belong to any of the 32 teams. It belongs to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who’ll be forced to sit on the sideline and play catch with ball boys for the first four games of the team’s schedule — a stretch the Patriots should be able to survive with Jimmy Garoppolo — all because of an 18-month-old scandal involving the PSI levels of some footballs used in a 45-7 Patriots’ win.
Actually, Brady won’t be allowed to play catch with anyone, really. He also won’t be allowed to watch games from the sideline.
On Sunday, the Boston Herald clarified the rules of Brady’s suspension. After speaking with NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy, Karen Guregian discovered that Brady won’t be allowed to host his receivers at his house or a nearby field for any throwing sessions.
It’ll be an entirely Patriots-free suspension for Brady. He can’t even discuss the playbook or what he sees when he watches the team play without him, namely because he won’t be able to receive game film from the team.
As the Boston Herald wrote:
Brady can’t “engage in any team football-related activities or discussions with teammates, even if away from the club facility.” Playing catch is among the prohibitions, according to a set of parameters provided by McCarthy.
As for staying in touch with what the offense is doing, will Brady be allowed to get game film and practice film every week to stay in the loop? Well, the way it works, Brady can’t even watch the games or practices from the stands as a spectator. So the answer to this one is technically no, not via any team personnel anyway.
“There is to be no football communication with the club during the suspension or participation in activities at the direction of the club,” McCarthy wrote during an e-mail exchange. “He would not be able to receive game film.”
That doesn’t mean Brady won’t be doing something to remain game ready. For one, I’m nearly certain Brady can afford to purchase an NFL Game Pass subscription, which would allow him to watch film from the All-22 camera angles. Plus, Wes Welker, Brady’s former slot receiver and BFF, remains a free agent and he could certainly do his best Julian Edelman impression if Brady called upon him.
“I’m pretty sure he has that lined up already. That’s the type of guy he is, that’s the type of competitor he is,” former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk told the Herald. “He’s going to try and find someone that still has a little something in the tank that can work him, as much as he can work them. He’ll want to throw to someone who’s pretty familiar with the offense.”
Selfishly, I hope Brady teams up with Randy Moss and the two of them post the footage from their workouts, because the world needs more Brady-Moss highlights.