Tom Brady ended his 20-year association with New England Patriots to join Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 42-year-old was widely expected to leave in the free agency but very few expected that he would end up in Tampa. While Brady opting to join Tampa remains up for a major debate, the media and experts are still speculating the run of events that led to his Patriots departure.
BRADY WAS ALWAYS PLOTTING HIS EXIT? 👁🗨— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) March 21, 2020
➖ Belichick offered Tom to SF instead of Jimmy G after 28-3
➖ Kraft "shut that s--t down."
➖ Lit a fire under TB12
➖ Teammate: "I could have predicted in October 2017 this day was coming.”
✍️ @nfldraftscout: https://t.co/hxZcVGQF4m pic.twitter.com/VfQocpfkWb
Ever since it the news broke out that Tom Brady will be entering the free agency for the first time in his career, it was reported that the veteran quarterback had friction with head coach Bill Belichick. It is still believed that it was the deteriorating relationship between the coach and the quarterback that led to his exit. However, the latest reports in the United States suggest Brady leaving the Patriots had been in the making since 2017.
New England Patriots won the 2016 Super Bowl and entered the 2017 NFL offseason with three established quarterbacks in their roster - Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett. While Patriots possessed the best quarterback lineup in the entire league, it was reported back then that Bill Belichick was interested in using his stars as 'trade capital'.
And that is what happened, Jacoby Brissett was traded to the Indianapolis Colts for wide receiver Philip Dorsett while Jimmy Garoppolo left for the San Francisco 49ers.
The trade for Brissett was considered straightforward. However, for Garoppolo's trade, it is reported that Bill Belichick was rather looking to get Tom Brady off his books. It is believed that Brady would have ended up at the 49ers if Patriots owner Robert Kraft hadn't interfered.
Tom Brady ended up staying at New England. However, the rift between Belichick and the 42-year-old reportedly persisted resulting in Brady restructuring his contract with the Patriots. The new deal reportedly helped Patriots save some cap space while Brady got the option to test NFL free agency.
In the end, a tangible effort by the Patriots to keep Tom Brady in New England never happened. No negotiation. Just the intimation that it was on Brady to say what he wanted. For Brady, that stance spoke volumes.— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) March 17, 2020
One of Tom Brady's former teammate was quoted by the Bleacher Reports speculating, "He tore up deals after '17, after '18, and got it so the Patriots couldn't [franchise] tag him. Dude was planning this day all along. I could have predicted in October 2017 that this day was coming"