The big question is where Belichick goes next.
It'd be ridiculous to think the Pats are surprised by Brady's announcement that he's leaving. Did New England want TB12 back? Yes. But they've assuredly crafted plans in the event Brady moved on.
The QB market has been slow waiting for Brady's decision. It could heat up in a hurry once his next team is announced.
Jarrett Stidham sits as the top in-house candidate for the Patriots after being drafted in the fourth-round last season.
The more likely replacement is one of the veteran options who are available this offseason
The one most-linked to the Patriots isn't a QB hitting the open market, but rather available in a trade: Andy Dalton.
NFL teams are anticipating that match as well.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero noted that he received a text from an NFL coach: "Dalton has to be the Patriots' guy?"
Dalton makes a lot of sense as a bridge veteran who can manage an offense. He owns a lot of the characteristics Belichick seeks in a signal-caller. However, we've seen Dalton struggle in Cincinnati when he wasn't buffered by superior talent. That's the same issue that stymied the Patriots' offense with Brady last season.
Jameis Winston is another name likely to pop up surrounding New England's search, especially if Brady lands in Tampa. Winston has a big arm and unquestionable talent. He's also a turnover-bot, who could potentially give Belichick a conniption on the sideline. Still, wouldn't it be the ultimate show of coaching power for Belichick to take Winston and turn him into a stable QB?
The Patriots could also look to the draft if one of the top-tier players begins to fall in the first round. And, of course, there always seems to be an out-of-left-field trade option no one but Belichick has conjured yet.