Morning sports update: NFL insider says he will be ‘stunned if Tom Brady returns to the Patriots’

"We need to wrap our minds around the fact that it is far more likely than not that Tom Brady will not be back with the Patriots."

Tom Brady during the Patriots' playoff loss to the Titans in 2020.

The Celtics won for the second time in as many days with a 114-103 win over the Jazz on Wednesday night. Jayson Tatum once again excelled with 33 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bruins will play the Stars at TD Garden this evening at 7:30 p.m.

ESPN insider offers a new take on Tom Brady’s possible future: On Thursday morning’s edition of “Get Up!” on ESPN, NFL insider Jeff Darlington forecasted in the strongest terms yet that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is likely leaving New England in free agency.

“I feel like we need to have a talk here,” Darlington began. “Because no matter how many times we say that Tom Brady is likely to not play for the Patriots next year, I either get blasted or told that I’m wrong. That makes sense because we cannot wrap our heads around it. There are people very close to Tom Brady who are being told by Tom Brady, ‘It’s not going to happen. I’m going somewhere else.’ That’s the way that we’re operating here, within those circles. And yet even those people don’t necessarily believe that Tom at the end of the day won’t go into Bill Belichick’s office and Belichick won’t sit there and say to him, ‘Tom, we need you back. We have to have you back,’ and that Tom Brady will return to the Patriots.

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“We need to wrap our minds around the fact that it is far more likely than not that Tom Brady will not be back with the Patriots,” Darlington concluded. “I am now at the point where I would be stunned if Tom Brady returns to the Patriots.”

Darlington added his own perspective in a tweet, noting that there’s “still a chance” Brady returns to the Patriots, but concluding that the 42-year-old quarterback is “looking forward to free agency.”

Trivia: Prior to 1985, the Red Sox had never had a player make at least $1 million per season. Then, due to arbitration and contract extensions, Boston had three players cross over the seven-figure threshold. Who were the first three million-dollar Red Sox players?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Only one was a pitcher, and he wasn’t (normally) a starter. All three were drafted by the Red Sox.

More from Boston.com:

Chris Sale accurately explained Boston roads and driving to Martin Perez:

Kemba Walker discussed joining the post-Kyrie Irving Celtics, wearing No. 8, and other topics in an ESPN interview:

 

On this day: In 1959, the Celtics set six team records and one individual record in a 173-139 win over the Minneapolis Lakers that incredibly did not include overtime. It was remains tied with the highest single team point total scored in regulation in NBA history.

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And Bob Cousy set the individual record by notching 28 assists to go along with 31 points (the record was eventually broken, and is now set at the 30-assist threshold by Scot Skiles in 1990). The Celtics also did all this without Bill Russell, who sat out the game with an injury.

Daily highlight: Mason Degenkolb of Taylor University hit a full-court shot at the buzzer moments after Charlie Warner nailed a clutch shot of his own for Grace College to tie the game:

Trivia answer: Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, and Bob Stanley

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