For the New England Patriots, the offseason goes as Tom Brady goes. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Patriots want to know Brady’s intentions for his first visit to unrestricted 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 on ESPN’s Get Up on Thursday (h/t Patriots Wire). “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.”

The Patriots don’t want to find themselves in a situation where the 42-year-old leaves before it’s too late to get his replacement. If he does sign with another team, they have options in the 2020 NFL Draft, free agency, trade market and backup Jarrett Stidham. However, New England wants the ability to look at all those options in-depth; not whatever is leftover.

If Brady were to tell the Patriots he’s leaving before March 16, they could approach free agency with their full $45 million to spend, instead of limiting their options in hopes of an extension. In a market with plenty of free agent quarterbacks available, the knowledge pertaining to the situation could be the key to their offseason.

Follow NFL on ClutchPoints on Twitter & Instagram, and like us on Facebook. We can also be found on Flipboard where you can subscribe and follow us. Get more on the Patriots.

All of our NFL content can be found on the NFL section of the ClutchPoints home page here. For all of our fantasy football content, click here. See what the 2020 fantasy outlook is for the Patriots.

Follow NFL games live by downloading the ClutchPoints App and heading to the scores tab under the NFL section. The Super Bowl won’t have the Patriots, but it will be played on Sunday, Feb. 2.