Tom Brady’s decision to leave New England was certainly a heavy blow to the region, unknowing that a disappointing 2019 campaign would be followed by a gruesome display of Patriots football without the established “G.O.A.T” in 2020. Never mind the additional hardships players endured while competing at the height of a global pandemic. We all knew there was a possibility of Brady putting on a different uniform at the end of his career, but did we really ever expect it to happen? Jordan played for the Wizards. Montana the Chiefs. Even Manning and the Broncos. But, could anyone truly see Tom Brady in another uniform after an unprecedented run with the Patriots? There was one who saw the future through a clear lens. That was Tom Brady Sr.
Brady Sr.’s Prediction
Brady’s father made a bold prediction about the end of this story back in 2015. Mark Leibovich of the NY Times asked Brady Sr. how he thought the saga would end. “It will badly. It does end badly. And I know that because I know what Tommy wants to do. He wants to play till he’s 70.”
At the time, the Patriots were preparing for their Super Bowl XLIX matchup against the Seahawks, while managing a PR crisis we now know as “Deflategate”. Jimmy Garoppolo was at the end of his rookie year in the NFL. “Jimmy G” only registered 27 passes in 2014 but was already labeled as the heir to the throne. As soon as the Trent Dilfer’s and Max Kellermans were right about Brady, it would be Garoppolo’s time. Brady and Kraft refer to each other as family, but adding Belichick and Garoppolo into the picture left Brady in an unfavorable position. One day, Jimmy would be ready, and Brady would be the odd man out.
Brady’s elite performance continued through Garoppolo’s rookie contract, and the team traded him to San Francisco in 2017. Yet, the writing was still on the wall for those inside the organization to see. The Patriots would play in two more Super Bowls and win their 6th, but the time eventually came for the football greats to part ways. Kraft gave Bill full authority to make the call, and Brady wouldn’t take what he saw as unappreciation any longer. He wanted the guarantee, but Belichick wouldn’t provide it after 20 years of dominance. Brady got exactly what he wanted in Tampa Bay, and is now playing in his 10th Super Bowl.
Life After the Patriots
Brady Sr. didn’t hold back in 2015, and he isn’t holding back now. In a recent interview with Boston Herald Patriots reporter Karen Guregian, Brady Sr. was asked about life after the Patriots. He expressed his belief that the entire Kraft family is rooting for their adopted son to win his 7th Super Bowl. He could not say the same for his son’s former head coach. “I’m guessing he’s on a little bit of a hot seat right now,” said Brady Sr. when asked about Belichick.
Some do believe that Belichick might actually be in jeopardy of losing his job. Regardless, Brady’s father was not afraid to take a small shot at Belichick. Tom Sr. did acknowledge that the two had a historic run and it was time for both sides to move on. But, while Brady has not seen a drop-off in his success, Belichick has outsiders question his real abilities. He’ll need a comeback bigger than 28-3 in the 2021 season if he wants to hold his own in the everlasting “Brady vs Belichick” debate.
(Feature Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)