In a wide-ranging two-hour interview with Howard Stern on SiriusXM Radio, new Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady discussed his first foray into free agency, his decision to leave the Patriots, his journey to Tampa Bay, and his future in the NFL. Let’s take a look at the highlights from Brady’s sit-down with the King of All Media:
- Brady said he had a strong feeling he’d leave New England before the beginning of the 2019 NFL season, as James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. “I don’t think there was a final, final decision until it happened,” Brady said. “But I would say I probably knew before the start of last season. I knew that, it was just, our time, you know, our time was coming to an end.” Brady signed a renegotiated contract in August 2019 that prevented the Patriots from franchise tagging him in 2020, so the tea leaves regarding a possible departure were in place.
- Brady indicated he heard from “a lot” of interested teams when he reached free agency, tweets Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. However, Brady said he wrote down a list of 20 factors that would play into his decision, including location, wide receiver talent, and coaching, per Palmer (Twitter link), which helped lead him to the Buccaneers.
- While leaving the franchise he played for his entire career couldn’t have been an easy decision, Brady said he wasn’t concerned about tarnishing his NFL legacy. “I never cared about legacy,” Brady said, per Greg Auman of the The Athletic (Twitter link). “I could give a s— about … that’s not me, that’s not my personality. Why would I choose a different place? It was time. I had accomplished everything I could with an incredible organization.”
- Although he’s now entering uncharted territory as a mid-40s NFL quarterback, Brady doesn’t seem to be considering retirement any time in the immediate future. “You don’t tell a musician to stop singing, you don’t tell a great painter to stop painting at 42,” Brady said, per Auman (Twitter link). Brady, of course, inked a fully guaranteed two-year contract with Tampa Bay that will take him through his age-44 season.
- Despite reports of friction between Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, the future Hall of Fame quarterback said he doesn’t hold any resentment towards the future Hall of Fame coach, as Jenna Laine of ESPN.com tweets. “No absolutely not,” Brady said. “To have him allowed me to be the best I can be. So I’m grateful for that. And I very much believe he feels the same about me…”