Tom Brady Sr. may have predicted his son’s unceremonious ending with the Patriots before anyone else, but now he is downplaying the drama that reportedly led to the quarterback’s departure.
Brady left the Patriots after 20 years to sign with the Buccaneers last week. While multiple reports have indicated that a growing rift between Brady and coach Bill Belichick was at the heart of the stunning decision, Brady Sr. said he sees it as a “separation” instead of a “divorce.”
“I think it’s just change,” Brady Sr. said on an episode of the “Raising Fame: Sports Edition” podcast with Dell and Sonya Curry, as transcribed by Boston.com. “I don’t know that it’s a divorce. Twenty years together is a long time. I can’t tell you the hundreds of times Tommy has said, ‘Bill [Belichick] is the best coach in football.’ Tommy sings Bill’s praises. Divorce sounds a little bit harsh.”
Brady Sr. has been outspoken in the past, so much so that Brady reportedly once asked him to stop talking to the media. But it was Brady Sr. who said in a 2015 New York Times Magazine story that “it will end badly” for Brady and the Patriots.
The Patriots were reportedly unwilling to commit to the 42-year-old Brady beyond going year-to-year, but he was able to land a two-year, $50 million contract with the Buccaneers.
“Bill’s got a lot of responsibilities to keep the Patriots on track,” Brady Sr. said. “That is a bigger responsibility than keeping Tommy under the hood. Both of them are mature individuals. I really respect Bill’s decision and respect Tommy’s decision as well. It’s OK to take different paths. You don’t have to stay joined at the hip.”
All parties involved have taken the high road since Brady left the franchise with which he won six Super Bowls. Belichick released a glowing statement about Brady’s tenure and Brady spoke in an equally complementary manner about the Patriots during his Buccaneers introductory conference call on Tuesday.
Now, all eyes will be on Brady to see if he can win a Super Bowl without Belichick.
“Twenty years is about four lifetimes in the sports world,” Brady Sr. said. “It’s pretty unusual that people don’t leave one franchise for another. After 20 years, I just kind of sense that this is going to be a new chapter.
“He wants another Super Bowl.”