Tom Brady spent two decades as the quarterback for the New England Patriots. But he knew he was ready to leave when the team refused to sign him to another long-term contract in 2019.
The New England Patriots took a chance on Brady in the sixth round in the 2000 NFL Draft. Brady played for New England for an astounding 20 seasons, 18 of which he was the primary starter. Of those 18 seasons, he led the team to 17 division titles (including 11 consecutive from 2009 to 2019), and 13 AFC Championship Games (including eight consecutive from 2011 to (2018). Oh, and did we mention he also went to the Super Bowl nine times, winning six titles? All of those stats are NFL records for a player and a franchise.
Despite all of that success, however, tension had been building up between Brady and New England head coach Bill Belichick behind the scenes. All of that tension nearly amounted to Tom Brady walking out of a training camp practice.
According to “It’s Better to be Feared,” a new book by Seth Wickersham, Brady was upset that the team would not give him a two-year contract in 2019. To be fair, though, Brady was 42-years-old at the time. But he wanted a deal that would have secured his future with the team until he turned 45. You’d think that after so much history between both sides, that would have been a no-brainer.
But coach Belichick refused to give into Brady’s demands. And even though Brady did not end up leaving training camp, it’s clear that his mindset going into the season wasn’t in the best place.
Tom Brady Leaves New England, Signs in Tampa Bay
At this point, the writing was pretty much on the wall — the legendary Tom Brady, the GOAT was on his way out of New England.
Rumors started to fly late in the 2019 season when Brady listed his Brookline, Massachusetts, home up for sale. And things got even hotter when Alex Guerrero (Brady’s training and business partner) did the same. Those things, plus the fact that Brady’s expiring contract made him eligible for free agency for the first time, made it clear that his days as a Patriot were coming to an end. But there would be brighter days on the horizon.
Despite going 12-4 and making the playoffs, Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just a couple of months later. And he got exactly what he wanted from his former team — a two-year, $50 million contract. What did he do after that? Well, all he did was go on to lead the Bucs to their second-ever Super Bowl title over the explosive Kansas City Chiefs.