By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Now in what feels like Day 6,000 of Tom Brady Watch, seemingly every angle has been covered, reported and speculated. Nevertheless, a new one emerged on Tuesday.

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In this scenario, presented by ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the market for Tom Brady is not quite as rich as Brady and his agent might have initially thought. As such, all of that “interest” you’ve seen reported — from the likes of the Chargers/Raiders/Titans/Colts/Giants/etc. — has never really existed.


“I don’t think any of us have ever really considered that maybe some of this wooing or some of the interest that’s being put out there on the side of Brady is to save him embarrassment if the market isn’t — to use your word — as robust as you would think for Tom Brady,” Russini said on the “Get Up” program. “Because I hear everything that you’re saying; how do you not have interest in Tom Brady? But when you start looking at it and start really breaking down the details of it, is it really the smart decision for you organization? And I think there is a good number of teams out there who do not believe that Tom Brady is their answer.”

Russini noted that all teams would be intrigued at the prospect of adding the GOAT in free agency, but when it comes down to really getting a deal done, that list of teams is smaller than some might believe.

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“The reality is, just from talking to sources around the league, it seems Brady is a lot more interested in teams than teams are interested in Tom Brady,” she said. “In terms of Brady’s interest in these other teams vs. teams being interested in Brady, I think it goes like this to this [one hand higher than the other].”

Russini reported that the Buccaneers are certainly a team that would be eager to pay Brady and give him some play-calling power in Tampa. But outside of the Bucs, the perfect match may not be waiting for Brady come next Wednesday. As a result, he may wind up back in Foxboro.

“I think at this point right now, Brady’s interest in other teams outweighs the amount of teams that are interested,” she said. “I think the team that we need to put back up on the board that we’re all walking away from is New England. I think we, for whatever reason, because some of the reporting at ESPN has been excellent, at least from the side of Brady, that yeah, he is interested to see what the market is. But what is that market gonna be?”

This line of reporting, as Russini subtly noted, seems to have come from the other side of the Brady talks. That is to say, while reports of a half-dozen teams willing to drop everything in an effort to woo the QB have been abundant, the Patriots might not believe the list of teams is quite so long. This report, combined with Field Yates’ report from a day earlier, seems to indicate that the Patriots and some other league sources — for one reason or another — might be eager to present a different side of the story to the public.

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Fortunately, in just about a week, the football world can stop parsing through every line of every report in an effort to figure out what it all meeeeeans. Soon enough, the answers will all crystallize, as Brady either fields a slew of flattering offers or head back to Foxboro, hat in hand, to accept the offer that looked unappealing last August.