Believe me, I don’t like having discussions like this. I get easily annoyed by playing the “what if” game, because it’s not real. It’s just imagining scenarios that don’t exist for the sake of having an argument that doesn’t need to be had.
This discussion – the one about Tom Brady finishing his career with a different team – is not a discussion that needs to be had, because Brady isn’t going anywhere. At age 41, he’ll be the starting quarterback for the Patriots in 2018 and possibly beyond. The Patriots themselves don’t seem to be overly concerned about Brady’s tenure coming to an end any time soon, because they haven’t addressed the need to find his successor.
In the 2018 NFL Draft, New England had ample opportunities to find someone that could adequately fill the starting quarterback position – Lamar Jackson, Mason Rudolph, Kyle Lauletta, Luke Falk etc. – and yet they repeatedly passed on every single one of them. So if Brady wants to keep playing until he’s 45, the Patriots seem to be OK with it.
But since it’s the middle of June and it’s the deadest part of the year for the NFL, there isn’t much in the news to write about right now. That’s why, unfortunately, I’m being forced to resort to playing the “what if” game. Ugh.
So here it goes. What if the Patriots had drafted a quarterback, and after letting him learn under Brady during the 2018 season, they were ready to hand over the franchise to said QB in 2019? After the 2018 season concludes, they decide to jettison Brady once and for all (after thanking him for winning them five Super Bowls and being the best to ever play the game) and begin a new era of New England football.
Brady would still have four more seasons left in the tank to reach 45, so the question would be: would he call it a career if he couldn’t finish with the Patriots, or would he try to win a Super Bowl for another team?
Here’s my initial thought. Since Brady is the ultimate competitor, he would use it as a form of motivation, as another chip on his shoulder, to win one more championship. He would want nothing more than to prove that the Patriots were wrong for letting him go. There would be no sweeter feeling for him than to raise another Lombardi Trophy high over his head while Bill Belichick and the Patriots could do nothing but watch helplessly.
If playing for another team was the only way Brady could continue to compete, then I believe he would do it. And making the Patriots pay for disregarding him would be all the motivation he would need.
If you’ve read this far, God bless you. You may now forget about everything you just read, because Brady isn’t going anywhere any time soon. This article was just for the sake of discussion, and as usual, it was a discussion that didn’t really need to be had. But I guess if the “what if” game has to be played, there isn’t really a better time to play it than in the middle of dead season.