Steven Senne/Associated Press
ESPN’s Seth Wickersham appeared on Monday’s episode of Get Up! and discussed the split between the all-time great and his former team, noting the Patriots were more interested in year-to-year deals, while Brady, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wanted more of a commitment:
“Tom Brady wanted a contract extension. He made it very clear, publicly and privately, about his desire to play until his mid-40s, and he wanted a contract, a commitment, from a team. It didn’t have to be the Patriots, but he preferred the Patriots. And at the end of the day, that contract never came. It didn’t come in August of 2018. It didn’t come in August of 2019. And I think that’s the reason why in the end of the day he moved on. He wanted to play, and he wanted a team that wasn’t necessarily going to pay him the most but was going to give him that commitment, and that wasn’t going to be the New England Patriots, who preferred more of a year-to-year thing…
… At the end of the day, again, they didn’t see him playing quarterback for the New England Patriots at age 45. And Tom Brady was resolute he wanted to play until his mid-40s. And more than money, he wanted a team that was going to give him a contract with no qualifiers.”
That report revealed Brady felt unappreciated during the 2019 campaign, with one confidant saying the quarterback wondered, “Why am I doing this?”
What’s more, there was a “blowup” during a meeting between Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, while owner Robert Kraft sent “mixed signals” when it came to re-signing the future Hall of Famer.
Wickersham noted Kraft told NFL Network, “Think about loving your wife and for whatever reason, there’s something—her father or mother—that makes life impossible for you and you have to move on.”
The metaphor is all the more notable because Wickersham called the relationship between Brady and Belichick “icy” during Monday’s appearance.
Despite the apparent drama and eventual breakup, it is impossible to call Brady’s time with Belichick and the Patriots anything but a resounding success.
He won six Super Bowls, three league MVPs and two Offensive Player of the Year awards while earning 14 Pro Bowl selections. He is arguably the greatest player in league history and will look to replicate some of his success during the next chapter in Tampa Bay.
Brady turns 43 years old in August but is not far removed from a Super Bowl run in 2018, and he will have possibly the best one-two wide receiver punch in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans on the outside.
The Buccaneers haven’t won a playoff game since the 2002 season, but they have the ideal quarterback to change that in 2020.
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