Right now there is a lot of uncertainty in the country. We don’t know whether or not the NFL season will be able to start on time, and, even if it does, if fans will be there cheering on the teams. This time has left everyone at home, with tons of extra time to think about the most pressing matters the nation faces — like what the New England Patriots will look like this season.
Obviously quarterback Tom Brady is gone, and there is a lot of speculation as to why the breakup happened. Brady’s recent radio interview with Howard Stern added some fuel to the fire of speculation. I thought I would do my best to address some of the issues people have been discussing. Remember, this is simply me using my common sense, and things that other people have reported.
Brady knew last year was his last season with the Patriots
This makes a ton of sense when you think about it. The issue was never money, the issue was that he wanted more years. He wanted the Patriots to show him the respect he deserved by giving him a multi-year deal. There were multiple reports that he was looking for the type of deal that Drew Brees got, two years for $50 million. If Bill Belichick was unwilling to give 42-year-old Tom Brady a two-year contract, why would he give a soon-to-be 43-year-old Tom Brady one? The writing was on the wall, and Brady was going to sign a multi-year deal somewhere, it just became obvious to him it wasn’t going to be in New England.
Gisele was responsible for breaking up the Patriots
There have been people saying that Gisele Bündchen wears the pants in the family, or that she influenced where Brady was going to play. Let me first say this: of course she has an influence, she is his wife! This doesn’t mean that she’s the one that made the decision, but she certainly helped him make it. To say that she hated it in New England and pushed him out is simply stupid, though. They have been dating since 2006, and got married in 2009. She just decided to wait 11 years to speak her mind about where Brady was playing? Please.
And, to the comments that she made on Tom vs Time about being respected and listened to at work, I would say those things probably came from Brady himself. I’m not sure about you, but if there are things I’m unhappy about at work, I talk them over with my wife and value the input that I get from her. When we make a decision that will impact our family, we make it together. If Brady felt under-appreciated in New England, and felt like he deserved more respect than he was given, that would have impacted his decision making. Those feelings were not coming from Gisele, though, but rather from Brady. If I’m being honest, I completely understand where he’s coming from.
There was a rift between Brady and Belichick
The answer to this is very simple: Belichick is running a team and has to think about not only the players that are currently on the roster, but what will make them successful in the future. Brady is focused on the team, but is also concerned about his future. If he felt like he was entitled to a multi-year deal, and that he was unwilling to play on a year-to-year basis, that’s completely justified. If Belichick refused to give a player who is going to be the oldest starting quarterback in NFL history a multi-year deal, that’s also justified.
Both of these things can be true without them hating each other. They have slightly different goals, and have to do the best thing to try to reach those goals. Last year was the first time those goals may have been at odds. It let Brady know that Belichick was ready to move on, or, at the very least, that he was no longer willing to make a long-term commitment to him. As Brady told Howard Stern, they both have an immense amount of respect and admiration for each other. At the same time, they are moving in different directions right now, and so the best thing for them to do was continue down those different paths.
It’s natural to be angry right now, and look for someone to blame for Brady and the Patriots breaking up. In the end, there is one person who is more responsible for it than anyone else: Bill Belichick. As I’ve said a few times, I’ve decided to put my trust in Belichick, and hope he knows what he’s doing and can build a competitive team without Brady. If you want to feel differently, that’s fine. It’s very possible that these next few years could shape how we remember both Brady and Belichick. I personally think they will both be successful without the other, but only time will tell. Let’s hope all this ends in time for us to find out.
Pat is a host of The Patriot Podcast
Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats