Gone Brady Gone

Who'll Have a Better Record in 2020?

  • Brady with the Bucs

    Votes: 115 65.3%
  • BB with the Patriots

    Votes: 61 34.7%

  • Total voters
    176

Van Everyman

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NFL made GamePass free through May as well -- they have full games, condensed games and All-22 views of every game available going back a very long time. I watched the condensed game of SBLI -- 44 minutes total, and I skipped ahead to the comeback. The 20 minutes or so of game action from the first TD to White crossing the goal line was like heroin into my veins.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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This morning I stood before my closet, surveying the day’s choice of folded hoodies. The first one I saw, almost by fate, was my Patriots sweatshirt: navy blue, Flying Elvis across the chest. And I felt an unnatural pang deep inside, a choked heart’s throb; yes, this was my team, this was its logo, but it now represented something I was unfamiliar with. It no longer had a face. What did this mean? What was going to happen?

And my mind immediately performed a jump-cut to the past, to the barren windswept bleachers of Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium, cold aluminum benches devoid of human souls and beset by the miserable swirl of discarded hot dog wrappers. To TV blackouts and the more-than-occasional drunken brawl in the stands, when going to a game was a joyless Thunderdome of an exercise… impossible traffic snarls both pre- and post-game (even though there were only 30,000 people attending), punctuated by profanity and beer-fueled fisticuffs in between. All against a backdrop of generally awful, awful football.

Those ‘70s and ‘80s Patriots wore red uniforms, which were symbolic of red flags: warning signs which were now waving alarmingly in my face as I stood with my closet door open, trying to do something so simple as choosing what to wear for the day. Tom Brady was no longer a Patriot. Our Superman, our King Arthur, our Max Rockatansky was going to ply his trade elsewhere, never to wear the navy and silver of New England again. Gone, due to ego -- his or Bill Belichick’s -- or money, most likely a combination of both. The end of a golden sun-kissed era.

But then something occurred to me. Tom Brady never sat on those freezing aluminum benches 30 or 40 years ago. I doubt he ever gave more than a moment’s thought about the Patriots as he was growing up. He never died inside because he couldn’t watch his beloved Pats play due to a broadcast blackout. He rooted for the Niners, which was a hell of a lot like rooting for the Pats for the last two decades. What does he know about sports heartache and the loss of God? I love him and what he’s done for my team, and I thank him and wish him well because he’s absolutely earned that, but his departure never, ever gets to define how I feel about the Patriots now or going forward.

His exodus is a commentary on the passage of time. It means we’re getting older. All of us, including Tom. It means we have to say goodbye to the comfort of the familiar, a familiar which just so happens to have been wildly successful. But time always wins. We were going to say farewell at some point soon no matter what, but at least time gives us the wisdom to be more comfortable with the passage of time (I'm pretty sure this was a Hootie & the Blowfish song, by the way).

I have seen the lows. Hell, most of the kids I knew growing up didn't even root for the Pats, despite being from New England. And if they tell you they did, they're lying, they only jumped on when the getting was good. You see, being a Patriots fan sucked for most of time prior to the mid-'90s. Yet I still loved them anyway. I loved them with all my heart.

I grabbed that Pats hoodie out of my closet and put it on with pride.
You sir, are a savage. And I mean that in the best possible way.
 

DJnVa

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That article is referencing a BR story that read like fan fiction. It pretty much seems to make stuff up that other sources have gone on record to contradict.

It was a masterful stroke by BB:
Brady, fueled by Belichick's desire to ditch him for Garoppolo, took the Patriots to two more Super Bowls, winning one.
 

SMU_Sox

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I voted no one. I object to the word blame. It's on BB and TB12 but I don't blame either for what happened. Kraft is a tertiary player here. It's hard to stay elite for 20+ years. From 2007-2018 with maybe a year or two exception Tom had 2 elite guys on offense to play with. Now he just has a beat-up Jules. Like his camps reports that leaked said, his best chance to win and perform well with an offense is not here. Drafts unfortunately are inherently random and BB has had some bad luck in 2018 and in 2019 he gambled on what looks to be the wrong WR (his 2017 draft was 4 picks and the highest was a 3rd rounder). So I don't blame anyone. Things come to an end. They ended as amicably as possible for Tom leaving the team. This wasn't a sloppy or bad breakup. I think even if the money was the same TB12 would have left because of the situation. It's sad but there is no blame to be had to me.
 

heavyde050

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I voted Brady with the Bucs if the poll is just referring to next year.
I still think BB is the GOAT, but having the GOAT at QB really covers up a lot of other deficiencies on a roster. I think BB will get the Pats back to the playoffs at some point (without Brady), but I just don't think it can happen next year.
Buffalo and Miami are both improving and the Pats have lost a lot at several key positions.
An interesting question is which franchise wins more over the two years of Brady's new deal.
 

BaseballJones

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From Rapaport: "The #Patriots likely would have done this contract, though Tom Brady never came to them with his desire to return. So there was no offer from NE. In the end, only the #Bucs and the #Chargers made offers. The #Raiders sat it out, as well, never offering Brady a deal."

Pinning it on Brady - if he had just come to the Patriots with his desire to return, the Pats would have given him what Tampa did.
 

DJnVa

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From Rapaport: "The #Patriots likely would have done this contract, though Tom Brady never came to them with his desire to return. So there was no offer from NE. In the end, only the #Bucs and the #Chargers made offers. The #Raiders sat it out, as well, never offering Brady a deal."

Pinning it on Brady - if he had just come to the Patriots with his desire to return, the Pats would have given him what Tampa did.
Well, his job is to report what he hears. He's not the only one saying Brady didn't tell them what TB offered. If the entire idea was that Brady wanted to be FA, then I think it makes perfect sense to assume he goes out to gauge his market and tells them (or doesn't tell them should he so desire).
 

Van Everyman

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From Rapaport: "The #Patriots likely would have done this contract, though Tom Brady never came to them with his desire to return. So there was no offer from NE. In the end, only the #Bucs and the #Chargers made offers. The #Raiders sat it out, as well, never offering Brady a deal."

Pinning it on Brady - if he had just come to the Patriots with his desire to return, the Pats would have given him what Tampa did.
I don't entirely buy that. Why give him the no-franchise clause in the last deal unless they were purposely giving him an out? Belichick (and to some extent maybe Kraft) wanted to put this decision in Brady's hands so that when the inevitable finally happened they could say it was his decision not theirs. And candidly, I'm not sure I blame them.
 

agibson2000

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Ya it sucks he’s gone, I’m in a smaller town but do talk/work with other both Sox & Pats fans here in Ohio and football (both college and NFL). Him being a former Michigan player the joke going around here is now he can start to say “Go Bucs!” I do look forward to both next season for both the Sox & Pats as well as everyone’s health.
 

Bergs

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Funny thing about Tampa; last time I was there for a Bruins game my brother and I went to the largest local brewery in town. We had Bruins gear on, and when we sat down the two bartenders started talking about how much they hated Brady and the Patriots and wouldn’t serve us. I bet those two guys are buying Brady 12 Bucs jerseys right now.
I have been boycotting* Cigar City ever since you told us this story in the beer thread. Fuck those guys.

* I mean, if someone hands me a bottle of Hunahpu's, I'm gonna drink that shit.
 
Last edited:

PedroKsBambino

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The net of these articles is no one has any real idea still what the dynamics were. This Wickersham piece is pretty far from his prior description really. Both could be right at time written—or totally baseless.

they have, to date, done a good job of hiding whatever the asks were or were not
 

BaseballJones

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From that Wickersham article...

"After the Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Brady was deeply dissatisfied. The offense had put up 613 yards with no punts."

Ok, so Brady was pissed after SB 52 because he lit up the stat book and the scoreboard, but was angry that his team had no defense. So Belichick builds a great defense, and during the playoff run, the defense does a great job, culminating in a dominating performance against the Rams on a day when Brady was.....barely mediocre.

The following year the team fields one of the best defenses in franchise history, and it absolutely carries the team, and Brady is pissed because now he doesn't have enough offensive weapons. So it gets back to a question I asked during last year....if you were Brady, knowing that you can't have EVERYTHING you want, would you rather have a great set of weapons around you but a mediocre defense (which is what sunk them in SB 52), or a great defense and mediocre offensive weapons (which allowed them to win SB 53 but which clearly frustrated him in 2019)?

It seemed like as his career with NE wound down, Brady was only going to be happy with both great offensive talent around him AND a great defense. Well Tom...I mean...come on man.
 

Super Nomario

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It seemed like as his career with NE wound down, Brady was only going to be happy with both great offensive talent around him AND a great defense. Well Tom...I mean...come on man.
It's not written clearly, but I took that as more general dissatisfaction with Belichick and his system than with the defense particularly. You're also kind of discounting the possibility of a middle ground here. That 2017 team had a great offense and a trash defense. 2019 had a great defense and a trash offense. Neither extreme is a great formula.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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It's not written clearly, but I took that as more general dissatisfaction with Belichick and his system than with the defense particularly. You're also kind of discounting the possibility of a middle ground here. That 2017 team had a great offense and a trash defense. 2019 had a great defense and a trash offense. Neither extreme is a great formula.
With each article, the easier it is dealing with Brady leaving. Wish #12 the best in Tampa. I'm looking forward to Stidham's development.

I also think BB will have a better year than Brady.
 

BaseballJones

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It's not written clearly, but I took that as more general dissatisfaction with Belichick and his system than with the defense particularly. You're also kind of discounting the possibility of a middle ground here. That 2017 team had a great offense and a trash defense. 2019 had a great defense and a trash offense. Neither extreme is a great formula.
So Brady wants the perfect setup or he's so dissatisfied that he'll leave? That doesn't sound like him. But that's one thing I'm taking from the article. How could he complain about a system that produced nine super bowl appearances and six titles? I get that Brady is a huge part of the system, but Brady would have to be a massive egomaniac if he thinks that HE is THE reason the entire system works.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Further to @BaseballJones point above, BB graciously went out of his way to emphasize that TB12 played a major part in developing the system, not just functioning in it.

TB12 sounds like an amazing teammate, friend and person. Nothing he’s done the last month diminishes my opinion of him. At the same time, I think it’s best for all sides that he moves on. 20 years was an awesome run... let’s all try something new. The run didn’t have a hell of a lot of time left anyway, maybe none if the goal is Super Bowls and not playoffs. It’ll help us appreciate that time all the more.

Edit: I thought Wickersham’s piece was pretty good. More thoughtful and reflective than emotional and hysterical.
 

Captaincoop

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It's not written clearly, but I took that as more general dissatisfaction with Belichick and his system than with the defense particularly. You're also kind of discounting the possibility of a middle ground here. That 2017 team had a great offense and a trash defense. 2019 had a great defense and a trash offense. Neither extreme is a great formula.
The 2018 formula won a Super Bowl (in spite of mediocre QB play), and the 2017 formula reached the Super Bowl as favorites to win, losing because the defense had a particularly bad day.

Whatever dissatisfaction you believe he had with Belichick's system, it was unreasonable. It's his right to get bored or feel disrespected or whatever and move on. But if it's dissatisfaction with the system?

Belichick has - for 20 years - been better than any coach in history at putting his team in position to win championships. If Brady thinks he knows better, good luck in Tampa.
 

E5 Yaz

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From that Wickersham article...

"After the Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Brady was deeply dissatisfied. The offense had put up 613 yards with no punts."

Ok, so Brady was pissed after SB 52 because he lit up the stat book and the scoreboard, but was angry that his team had no defense. So Belichick builds a great defense, and during the playoff run, the defense does a great job, culminating in a dominating performance against the Rams on a day when Brady was.....barely mediocre.

The following year the team fields one of the best defenses in franchise history, and it absolutely carries the team, and Brady is pissed because now he doesn't have enough offensive weapons. So it gets back to a question I asked during last year....if you were Brady, knowing that you can't have EVERYTHING you want, would you rather have a great set of weapons around you but a mediocre defense (which is what sunk them in SB 52), or a great defense and mediocre offensive weapons (which allowed them to win SB 53 but which clearly frustrated him in 2019)?

It seemed like as his career with NE wound down, Brady was only going to be happy with both great offensive talent around him AND a great defense. Well Tom...I mean...come on man.
If you believe Wickersham is inside Brady's mind and everything he wrote in this article is sourced to be the absolute truth, then I can see where you'd think this way
 

Super Nomario

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So Brady wants the perfect setup or he's so dissatisfied that he'll leave? That doesn't sound like him. But that's one thing I'm taking from the article. How could he complain about a system that produced nine super bowl appearances and six titles? I get that Brady is a huge part of the system, but Brady would have to be a massive egomaniac if he thinks that HE is THE reason the entire system works.
The article doesn't really talk about Brady's feelings on the defense or the offense. Wickersham is suggesting it's more intangible than that: Brady didn't feel appreciated. It sounds like it has been brewing a while, and the restructures (incentives in 2018, the bonus in 2019) were attempts to placate Brady that never really worked. I didn't read this as Brady complaining about the effectiveness of the system; I think he just didn't like working there anymore. The key line I think is: "Brady wasn't just looking to win Super Bowls, victory at all costs, the ethos of most of his career, fabulously successful and spectacularly unhealthy. He wanted what everyone wants from an employer: to feel valued and to love work."

The overriding feeling I get from everything I've read is that everybody was ready to move on. Brady did not want to be back. Belichick made no effort to bring him back. Kraft did not step in and intercede.
 

InstaFace

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The net of these articles is no one has any real idea still what the dynamics were. This Wickersham piece is pretty far from his prior description really. Both could be right at time written—or totally baseless.

they have, to date, done a good job of hiding whatever the asks were or were not
I dunno, some basic facts of how things proceeded seem uncontested:

1. The team presented him a 2-year or 1+1 offer back in last year's training camp, and he rejected these and ended up signing a one year voidable deal
2. Having done so, the team felt like they had made their first move on an extension, that the next move was for Brady to come to them with a demand, and as such didn't propose (didn't need to propose, would be an interpretation, but we know didn't propose) a further offer after the 2019 season
3. Brady, having gotten strong enough indications that other formal offers would be forthcoming, first decided that he wouldn't return to Foxboro
4. Brady then got actively courted by several teams eager for him to finish their career with them, and ended up choosing one of them.

It's easy in retrospect to say that #2 was a mistake, that when you're dealing with the franchise-cornerstone player you need to make him feel a little more loved and appreciated than that. Anyone here who's married or in a serious relationship has an understanding that sometimes doing the factually-sufficient thing ends up being woefully insufficient emotionally. Sometimes you have to extend yourself. Belichick didn't extend himself. Should he have? That's for debate. Should Kraft have insisted, or done so himself? Also for debate. But I think Wickersham's narrative, that "Brady felt unappreciated and wasn't having fun, and once he hit 40[1] suddenly that became a lot more important to him than it had been previously", is a very plausible interpretation on top of those facts. And frankly, I don't know what a good second-place interpretation would be.

My interpretation-of-the-interpretation is that Brady wanted a 3-year guaranteed offer (To let him play through age 45) that wasn't forthcoming, and in the conversations with Belichick (referred to, but obviously not chronicled in detail) he didn't get any indication that Belichick was open to that. So he read between the lines that he could either go out on his own terms or wait for Bill to tell him his time was up, and he opted for the former. He went somewhere that could more or less guarantee him what he wanted and there wouldn't be drama. Maybe it had something to do with his own ideas about team construction or "the system", but probably not (it's certainly not necessary to believe that in order to believe the emotional narrative). Maybe it was Bruce Arians being a fun guy, maybe not. But I don't think there are a whole lot of alternatives to the idea that he left, first and foremost, because he felt unappreciated - and everything else was just talk-show fodder, not real relationship stuff.

[1] this goes back to the remarks from Tom vs Time that Wickersham quotes, which got some remarks here when it came out.
 

AB in DC

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Both the Wickersham piece and the PFT link a little earlier point to something changing for Brady around the 2017. What's interesting to me is the notion that Brady hearing about the possible SF trade both (a) motivated him to reach two more Super Bowls, winning one and (b) created a lot more emotional distance between Brady and BB (or the team as a whole) that was ultimately too wide a gap to overcome. There's something a little tragic about that story, if it's true.
 

AB in DC

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Alternatively -- another possible story, also a tragedy to some degree -- is if (1) Kraft decides that Brady has earned the right to dictate the terms of his next contract with NE, (2) therefore deciding not to formally give him a contract offer, on the assumption that Brady will come to him with what he wants, but (3) Brady misreads that as a sign that he wasn't valued.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Giants host the Bucs this season. Wife claimed a pair of tickets out of the family’s 6 seats. I suppose I cannot pass up the chance to see him for maybe the last time, but damn it that is going to be weird.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I dunno, some basic facts of how things proceeded seem uncontested:

1. The team presented him a 2-year or 1+1 offer back in last year's training camp, and he rejected these and ended up signing a one year voidable deal
2. Having done so, the team felt like they had made their first move on an extension, that the next move was for Brady to come to them with a demand, and as such didn't propose (didn't need to propose, would be an interpretation, but we know didn't propose) a further offer after the 2019 season
3. Brady, having gotten strong enough indications that other formal offers would be forthcoming, first decided that he wouldn't return to Foxboro
4. Brady then got actively courted by several teams eager for him to finish their career with them, and ended up choosing one of them.

It's easy in retrospect to say that #2 was a mistake, that when you're dealing with the franchise-cornerstone player you need to make him feel a little more loved and appreciated than that. Anyone here who's married or in a serious relationship has an understanding that sometimes doing the factually-sufficient thing ends up being woefully insufficient emotionally. Sometimes you have to extend yourself. Belichick didn't extend himself. Should he have? That's for debate. Should Kraft have insisted, or done so himself? Also for debate. But I think Wickersham's narrative, that "Brady felt unappreciated and wasn't having fun, and once he hit 40[1] suddenly that became a lot more important to him than it had been previously", is a very plausible interpretation on top of those facts. And frankly, I don't know what a good second-place interpretation would be.

My interpretation-of-the-interpretation is that Brady wanted a 3-year guaranteed offer (To let him play through age 45) that wasn't forthcoming, and in the conversations with Belichick (referred to, but obviously not chronicled in detail) he didn't get any indication that Belichick was open to that. So he read between the lines that he could either go out on his own terms or wait for Bill to tell him his time was up, and he opted for the former. He went somewhere that could more or less guarantee him what he wanted and there wouldn't be drama. Maybe it had something to do with his own ideas about team construction or "the system", but probably not (it's certainly not necessary to believe that in order to believe the emotional narrative). Maybe it was Bruce Arians being a fun guy, maybe not. But I don't think there are a whole lot of alternatives to the idea that he left, first and foremost, because he felt unappreciated - and everything else was just talk-show fodder, not real relationship stuff.

[1] this goes back to the remarks from Tom vs Time that Wickersham quotes, which got some remarks here when it came out.
I think we have absoultely no reason to think most of the above is clearly established, though I certainly think it is possible it all is true. I suspect they talked about multiple contract structures and options over time. We have to ask where the info is coming from--just because someone reported it doesn't make it true, and it is quite possible here that not all parties are leaking; it's also possible none of the key players are and all these articles are from secondary sources with limited access and unknonwn agendas. I mean, sure, could be Wickersham has it all right---including a lot of specific insight into Brady's frame of mind at various points in time. But historically, that seems unlikely to be the case and even if he had that, why would we think he also has the Pats side of the story?

Also, it's pretty unrealistic to suggest they weren't exchanging ideas this offseason---I simply don't believe that. I get the desire to draw a line at "Brady responding with what would it take" but I suspect the reality is a lot more grey than that.

I guess that's all to say my observation is that we rarely have the full story on a situation like this, and I'm fine with us all interpreting what we have but we should remain open to the very likely possibilty we're missing a lot
 

heavyde050

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Both the Wickersham piece and the PFT link a little earlier point to something changing for Brady around the 2017. What's interesting to me is the notion that Brady hearing about the possible SF trade both (a) motivated him to reach two more Super Bowls, winning one and (b) created a lot more emotional distance between Brady and BB (or the team as a whole) that was ultimately too wide a gap to overcome. There's something a little tragic about that story, if it's true.
I don't want to rehash an old point, but I am now confused if Brady was actually offered to San Francisco. I thought the original story was that BB just called up Lynch and offered Jimmy for a #2 and when asked about Brady he just said no. Now a newer story comes out and says that BB tried to trade Brady to SF and Kraft said no.
I realize will probably never no definitely, but I was under the impression that the former story was the correct one.
As an aside, it is fascinating what if to think about Brady going to SF in 2017. I am fairly confident that the Pats don't even make the Super Bowl against the Eagles without him and I am also fairly confident that they don't win against the Rams (probably lose to KC in the AFC Championship game). On the bright side, the Pats would have a 28 (turning 29 in November) quarterback to continue the AFC East dominance, probably without the SB championship ceiling (at least year in and year out).
 

InstaFace

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I think we have absoultely no reason to think most of the above is clearly established, though I certainly think it is possible it all is true. I suspect they talked about multiple contract structures and options over time. We have to ask where the info is coming from--just because someone reported it doesn't make it true, and it is quite possible here that not all parties are leaking; it's also possible none of the key players are and all these articles are from secondary sources with limited access and unknonwn agendas. I mean, sure, could be Wickersham has it all right---including a lot of specific insight into Brady's frame of mind at various points in time. But historically, that seems unlikely to be the case and even if he had that, why would we think he also has the Pats side of the story?

Also, it's pretty unrealistic to suggest they weren't exchanging ideas this offseason---I simply don't believe that. I get the desire to draw a line at "Brady responding with what would it take" but I suspect the reality is a lot more grey than that.

I guess that's all to say my observation is that we rarely have the full story on a situation like this, and I'm fine with us all interpreting what we have but we should remain open to the very likely possibilty we're missing a lot
We might be missing a lot, but we have both Curran and (I think) Kraft himself saying that they were waiting for Brady to come to them with what he wanted. I don't think that's in much doubt, although of course there's a spectrum of how dickish the process might've been, or how badly bungled the communication (in either direction).

Wickersham's armchair psychology is, I think, the weakest part of his piece. But we do have verifiable statements that together give some credence to the core idea (minus the flowery elaboration): he wanted to be appreciated and enjoy being at work. Even just the "appreciated" side of it more or less squares with the manner in which he departed (first deciding that he wouldn't return, then deciding where he was going to go), the Tom vs Time comments and what few other things we've seen said or reported. Whether that feeling was going to be sufficient to make him leave the team, I think, was always up for dispute (indeed, I thought he would return). But now having departed, it seems like the occams-razor default explanation we have. If it was about (say) the money, we'd have heard something about various offers bandied about.
 

Seels

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ESPN lost the ability for me to visit their website for any reason whatsoever a long time ago. I don't care how well connected Wickersham is -- that site died permanently in 2015 with deflategate.
 

Ed Hillel

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There really isn't any story that is going to impact me, because I simply don't believe BB was ever going to pay up to 60 million to a 43 and 44 year old Tom Brady.

Also, Brady might now like dealing with the dour BB, but more than anything Tom Brady likes to win, and the guy he has now is a fucking moron. He's also a bit of a bull, so if Brady comes in and tries to take over the offense, we'll see how that goes.
 

Van Everyman

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It’s not hard to imagine that winning is actually less of an elixir for Brady at 43 after nine Super Bowls and six wins. A lot of us lose our luster for the most important part of our jobs as we get older – sure, closing the deal—and even proving people wrong—is still enjoyable but it’s less of a high and a motivator as we age. What’s incredible is that this lasted 20 years without this sort of thing coming to a head sooner. I think it shows how effective Brady and Belichick have both been at shutting out the noise.

That said, there’s just a ton of speculation in that Wickersham piece. It doesn’t mean his reporting was wrong but there’s not an awful lot there to suggest it wasn’t coincidence or informed guesswork either. It kind of reads like a Bernie campaign postmortem the other day – how we should’ve seen the warning signs, how person X was incredibly prescient in predicting this outcome months ago, etc. It’s not all bullshit exactly but it’s not exactly Woodward and Bernstein either.

One thing worth noting: if you believe Wickersham then Deflategate was the first crack in the relationship between Brady and Belichick. The idea that Goodell’s giving in to the other owners may have set this split in motion or hastened it is infuriating.
 

BaseballJones

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By the way, as far as such things go, I don't think this ended that badly. Brady was extremely thankful and complimentary towards the organization and Belichick as he left, and both Kraft and Belichick had incredibly kind and meaningful things to say to Brady as well. No divorce is fun, and it always sucks when things like this (though there's never been a thing like this before, to be perfectly honest) end, but this ended as amiably and respectfully as they could have. Brady didn't just storm out. He went to visit Kraft to talk it over with him. I'm sure they both cried. BB didn't have to write what he did - he hasn't done anything remotely like that for any other player that's left. But he did. As far as divorces go, this one was pretty....good, I guess.
 

Super Nomario

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Mansfield MA
Both the Wickersham piece and the PFT link a little earlier point to something changing for Brady around the 2017. What's interesting to me is the notion that Brady hearing about the possible SF trade both (a) motivated him to reach two more Super Bowls, winning one and (b) created a lot more emotional distance between Brady and BB (or the team as a whole) that was ultimately too wide a gap to overcome. There's something a little tragic about that story, if it's true.
I want to kind of call bullshit on a); I don't think motivation had anything to do with it. I mean, they made the Super Bowl in 2014 and 2016 and came within two points in 2015.

Wickersham points to a few things going on about that 2017 time period - Brady launching TB12 and creating friction with the training staff, a contract negotiation that went poorly (Brady tended to renegotiate his deal two years out, and the deal he signed in 2015/2016 took him through 2019), Brady not feeling like Belichick / Kraft had his back in Deflategate. Others will read into the Garoppolo thing. But Wickersham also suggests there were issues going back to 2008.

I don't want to rehash an old point, but I am now confused if Brady was actually offered to San Francisco. I thought the original story was that BB just called up Lynch and offered Jimmy for a #2 and when asked about Brady he just said no. Now a newer story comes out and says that BB tried to trade Brady to SF and Kraft said no.
You're conflating two stories here. Lynch says he called Belichick about Jimmy G before the 2017 season and Belichick said no. Then he asked about Brady and Belichick laughed and him and hung up. A few months later, when Belichick actually traded Garoppolo just before the 2017 trading deadline, he just called Lynch and offered Jimmy for the 2.

The "Belichick tried to trade Brady to SF" thing doesn't make any sense to me. When was this going to happen? After the 2016 season when they had the 28-3 comeback? Halfway through Brady's MVP season in 2017 (when they traded Jimmy)?

It’s not hard to imagine that winning is actually less of an elixir for Brady at 43 after nine Super Bowls and six wins. A lot of us lose our luster for the most important part of our jobs as we get older – sure, closing the deal—and even proving people wrong—is still enjoyable but it’s less of a high and a motivator as we age. What’s incredible is that this lasted 20 years without this sort of thing coming to a head sooner. I think it shows how effective Brady and Belichick have both been at shutting out the noise.
I think Kraft played a role here, too. He was personally involved in Brady's contract negotiations through the years. He coaxed Josh back at the 11th hour. He helped Brady get his house in Brookline, letting him be more present in Foxboro year-round. He helped Brady install TB12.

One thing worth noting: if you believe Wickersham then Deflategate was the first crack in the relationship between Brady and Belichick. The idea that Goodell’s giving in to the other owners may have set this split in motion or hastened it is infuriating.
Wickersham focuses on the recent couple years but he says there was friction dating back to Brady rehabbing in LA rather than Foxboro back in 2008. If that's true, it's amazing they held everything together this long (and had a run of unprecedented success in the process).
 

heavyde050

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Nov 17, 2006
6,714
San Francisco
You're conflating two stories here. Lynch says he called Belichick about Jimmy G before the 2017 season and Belichick said no. Then he asked about Brady and Belichick laughed and him and hung up. A few months later, when Belichick actually traded Garoppolo just before the 2017 trading deadline, he just called Lynch and offered Jimmy for the 2.

The "Belichick tried to trade Brady to SF" thing doesn't make any sense to me. When was this going to happen? After the 2016 season when they had the 28-3 comeback? Halfway through Brady's MVP season in 2017 (when they traded Jimmy)?
Thank you for the clarification.
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
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Apr 23, 2010
1,527
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I always suspected BB not being his John the Baptist during deflate gate was a strategic move. BB was toxic with the league office by then. A defiant, vocal defense of Brady/attack on the league could've done more harm then good, although the ultimate outcome certainly was bad enough. I never bought the stories that BB was pissed, and passive-aggressively throwing Brady under the bus.


Edit: And with the above said, the Mona Lisa Vito presser was a pretty strong denial.
 
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InstaFace

MDLzera
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Sep 27, 2016
12,018
By the way, as far as such things go, I don't think this ended that badly. Brady was extremely thankful and complimentary towards the organization and Belichick as he left, and both Kraft and Belichick had incredibly kind and meaningful things to say to Brady as well. No divorce is fun, and it always sucks when things like this (though there's never been a thing like this before, to be perfectly honest) end, but this ended as amiably and respectfully as they could have. Brady didn't just storm out. He went to visit Kraft to talk it over with him. I'm sure they both cried. BB didn't have to write what he did - he hasn't done anything remotely like that for any other player that's left. But he did. As far as divorces go, this one was pretty....good, I guess.
What he wrote about Logan Mankins, having just traded him away like a dog, was pretty effusive praise. Doesn't quite extend to the degree he did it with Brady here, but it's not unprecedented with BB. Just rare.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Apr 17, 2003
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We might be missing a lot, but we have both Curran and (I think) Kraft himself saying that they were waiting for Brady to come to them with what he wanted. I don't think that's in much doubt, although of course there's a spectrum of how dickish the process might've been, or how badly bungled the communication (in either direction).

Wickersham's armchair psychology is, I think, the weakest part of his piece. But we do have verifiable statements that together give some credence to the core idea (minus the flowery elaboration): he wanted to be appreciated and enjoy being at work. Even just the "appreciated" side of it more or less squares with the manner in which he departed (first deciding that he wouldn't return, then deciding where he was going to go), the Tom vs Time comments and what few other things we've seen said or reported. Whether that feeling was going to be sufficient to make him leave the team, I think, was always up for dispute (indeed, I thought he would return). But now having departed, it seems like the occams-razor default explanation we have. If it was about (say) the money, we'd have heard something about various offers bandied about.
It is pretty obvious that the party who would want out there "Pats were waiting for Brady to come back to them" is Kraft. The question is whether Brady has said the same---I believe answer is no. And that's precisely my point---you have writers who talk to sources and unless you know the source's agenda, you don't really know what you're getting. That's the difference between knowing something and having an idea about it.

You want to believe you know the answer, and you might. But going back to Theo leaving the Sox in the gorilla suit I've very consistently noted the difference between people believing they know the ansewr and objective information suggesting we have the whole story, and I think that approach continues to be prudent.
 

Cotillion

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Jun 11, 2019
358
I really think Brady was always gone unless he had assurances he got to stay with the Patriots the way he wanted.

Brady and his father (his father is in San Francisco radio a fair amount) have been pretty open about their belief that it would most likely end badly with Bill and the Patriot way of doing what’s best for the team.

so barring getting the contract that makes it almost impossible for him not to reach age 45 season with the Pats, Brady was always going to chose the leave one year before Bill thinks it’s time to leave you one year before you go south.

Brady got to end it on his terms. He made the choice. And I think that means something to him.

He earned every bit of it, and I wish he was still a Patriot
 

Marciano490

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Nov 4, 2007
44,229
So, Brady’s birthday is in August. Does playing till he’s 45 mean playing the season after he turns 45?
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
9,821
I want to kind of call bullshit on a); I don't think motivation had anything to do with it. I mean, they made the Super Bowl in 2014 and 2016 and came within two points in 2015.

Wickersham points to a few things going on about that 2017 time period - Brady launching TB12 and creating friction with the training staff, a contract negotiation that went poorly (Brady tended to renegotiate his deal two years out, and the deal he signed in 2015/2016 took him through 2019), Brady not feeling like Belichick / Kraft had his back in Deflategate. Others will read into the Garoppolo thing. But Wickersham also suggests there were issues going back to 2008.
It's an example of Wickersham pushing the narrative and then using his sources to build the narrative he wants. One watch of the Football Life special with Belichick indicates that there were no issues between Brady and Belichick in 2009.
 

joe dokes

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Jul 18, 2005
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The following year the team fields one of the best defenses in franchise history, and it absolutely carries the team, and Brady is pissed because now he doesn't have enough offensive weapons. So it gets back to a question I asked during last year....if you were Brady, knowing that you can't have EVERYTHING you want, would you rather have a great set of weapons around you but a mediocre defense (which is what sunk them in SB 52), or a great defense and mediocre offensive weapons (which allowed them to win SB 53 but which clearly frustrated him in 2019)?

It seemed like as his career with NE wound down, Brady was only going to be happy with both great offensive talent around him AND a great defense. Well Tom...I mean...come on man.
You CAN have that if you build a team to be a one-hit wonder. You really can't have that if you are trying to be at or near the top every year, with no "reset" or "cap hell" years mixed in. Nearly every year, the team had a 'weakness' that they decide to roll with, in the interests of not strengthening this year at the cost of really undermining next year.

[armchair psychobabble alert]
At 43, Brady isn't very concerned about the post-Brady health of a franchise in teh abstract. But I also think he truly is very fond of Kraft and BB and he doesn't want to murder the Patriots' future (nor will they allow him to do it). But he does want a "perfect" team, and knows he has to go elsewhere to get it in the short term, because Kraft/BB wont do that. If there is a "he was never coming back" angle, that's it. Not some dissatisfaction with Kraft or BB.