Tom vs. Team: Why Brady is Moving On

ESPN Daily


Well amidst everything happening in the world. Right now Tom Brady singlehandedly. Wrestle control of the new cycle and in the process basically gave us in sports media a miniature stimulus package by announcing that. He's leaving the New England patriots. Seth you have covered Brady forever. You've been to his house. You've covered this team for a while. What was your initial reaction to today's news? I think it's been in the works for a long time. I think it's been in the works since training camp and I think that people just didn't want to believe it New England fans didn't want to believe it some media members didn't believe it. Even people close to Tom. Brady didn't want to believe it. Even the people who did believe it in some ways didn't WanNa believe it and yet here we are I should note here that all season long says McCain has been texting me. I think this happened. I think this is going to happen. And I've written back really come on really stuff so you were right and here. We are and as you mentioned not. Everything's been roses in New England for quite a while now and we'll get to that but until I think this season. It didn't seem realistic to a lot of people that he would actually leave. So let's go back to the beginning of the year. When did that start change? Well I think that he almost left training camp because he was so frustrated about the contract negotiations that were going on with the Patriots for years. Now he is wanted a commitment and he has said with every ounce of sincerity that he wants to play until he's forty five years old and I think there's a part of him that felt like he had earned that commitment from the New England patriots but in lieu of that. He just wanted clarity. If you don't want me here fine I'll move on but you have to let me know and in the fall of eighteen. He signed what was termed at the time. As a two year extension was not an extension it was essentially five million dollars in bonuses that he never hit and then this year he entered the year as fifteen million dollar quarterback on the books which is astounding in August. He and his camp were in negotiations with the Patriots again. They were not interested in committing beyond a year to him and again reportedly he almost left training camp because he was so frustrated about it but when he finally did commit to playing and sign the deal he said all along that he was just an employee there. I show up and do my job. I'm an employee like everyone else. I'M GONNA show this week to do the best. I can do a quarterback when he said I'm just an employee here that was a little bit different and everybody always knew that even though Tom Brady could say he was a player just a player. Everyone knew that he was Tom Brady. Everyone knew that he could talk to. Robert Kraft whenever he wanted to. Everybody knew he go to Robert. Kraft's house whenever he wanted to so. It was always a little ridiculous that he would say that. I find your point about him saying. I'm just an employ really interesting because everybody knows that bill belichick is fairly ruthless. Really when it comes to you know how he manages personnel in his job is GM. He will move on from a star a legend right away but it was always the assumption. Tom Brady was above that he was not just an employee. He wasn't just any player to ballot. Check do you think that changed at some point recently or do you think that's always been the case? I think it's always been the case but I think what changed was Tom's perspective. I think the assumption was that it was Bella. Check who would be willing to move on from Brady and cut or trade him. Even though we all knew that Robert Kraft was never gonNa let him cut or trade. Tom Brady unless things got so bad that he had no choice to do it. I think there was always the presumption that Tom Brady wanted to retire a Patriot and again the past couple of years. There's been a lot of turmoil in the building. Twenty years is a long time to spend working so closely with a ruthlessly driven coach like bill. Belichick there's one assistant who told me working one year with bill. We'll take a year off your life and Tom's been in that system for a long time and he's tired he wants to do something new. I think that's were Brady. Decided to take control of his story and changed things Brady starts talking about himself as an employee and I think this sense of unease sets in did that persist throughout the twenty nine thousand nine season. He's a professional bill. Belichick said professional once. They're they're they're going to do everything they can to win every week but the season for the Patriots was weird season. It was a weird season because their offense didn't pull its weight for the entire year and that's very rare especially the last half of Brady's career with the patriots as they become they become so much of a pass. Heavy offense dominated team you know. Obviously they had Antonio Brown pretty was very excited to play with him. They light up the dolphins with Brown in the lineup. Antonio Brown had been accused of sexual assault then. A sports illustrated article comes out detailing. All kinds of new allegations and Robert Kraft who says he doesn't involve himself in personnel and football decisions makes a decision organizationally that they're gonNA move on from him. Brady was very upset about that and I think bill belichick was upset about it too. They wanted to see what the offense could do with Brown and so I think that's one of those sort of hidden moments from the season that I think ends up becoming a bigger deal than it was because after that the New England Patriots is here without Rob Gronkowski. Just couldn't get a receiver as open as they were accustomed to in the past. And so the offense just didn't play very well into remember at one point in the season. It looks like the Patriots were. They were talking about going undefeated again and then they lose to Miami in the last game of the season at home and then they come out against the titans in the in the wildcard round of the playoffs. The Patriots were beaten up for most of the game and yet late in the game. The Patriots got the ball back and it just looked like they were going to recapture the magic. The magic that were so accustomed to seeing from Tom Brady. He hit a pass for about twenty yards. Got a little bit of breathing room and then the drive just stalled and on second down Brady threw outside of Julian Edelman white behind Brady Bunch. Before it was an out route join Dorset Britain dropped back. It was a route two oldest football. It's a route that these guys have run so many times over the years short set walks in on the side at the forty five yard line turning to run an element dropped the ball and even though that's not when the game ended it felt like the game ended right there. You could feel the air. Go Out of the stadium. You could feel the wind. Go out the New England patriots sideline it just felt that after twenty years after all those super bowls after winning and losing some of the greatest games in NFL history. This run was over. That's the way it felt to me. Tennessee titans have come into foxborough and defeated. Tom Brady and the pats twenty to thirteen in his wildcard. Rob You were there. What was brady like in the aftermath? I've seen Tom Brady. After a lot of losses I've seen him after a lot of season ending losses. He looks physically ill. After losing a game that ends their season but against the titans after losing game ended their season this year. He seemed different. Usually Tom waits a long time. The game to come to the podium and granted the game ended late but he came out of the locker room like a hurricane and he got to the podium and was in no rush to leave. He sat he chatted. There's nobody who had a better career I would say to me. I just being with them so I'm very blessed and I don't know what the future looks like so I'm not going to predict it so I wish you'd want tonight and We should done a lot of things better over the course season but we just tend to get the job done. It was just a different vibe that he put out there that I've ever seen before and when he left and he walked out. He just had a vibe that he was over it he was done.

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