Tom Brady has said for years that his goal is, with every opportunity he's provided, to prove he's the best option at quarterback for the Patriots. If at some point he isn't, he knows he could be dealt.
In the days following the Jamie Collins trade, Brady spoke about the nature of the business of professional football and how he understands it will continue to exist as players -- even great players -- are discarded and replaced.
"You can’t be around this long and not realize that the world will keep spinning and the sun will come up tomorrow without you," he said.
On WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show, Brady added to those sentiments, going into a little more detail as to why he has taken the perspective that he has when it comes to what lies ahead for him and his career, and what he thinks about the possibility of being traded.
"I hope it never happens," Brady said. "I don't think any player loves when that happens. But part of what I said last week was, when you've been around for as long as I have, you know . . . Michael Jordan played for a different team. Brett Favre played for a different team. Randy Moss played for a different team. Joe Montana played for a different team. There's been a lot of great players before me who have gone. Guys that I've played with. Rodney Harrison and Wes Welker.
"All these guys that have been so spectacular. It's hard to imagine them ever playing different places, but it's part of sports. I hope I'm never in that situation because, like I said, this is where I love to play. This is where I want to play. This is the team I've played for my entire career. I've loved being the quarterback for this team, and hopefully I can continue to do it for as long as I can continue to perform at a high level. That's what my goal is. That's why I try to work hard at it and try to put myself in a position where I add a lot of value to the team. That's what you try to do as a player."
Brady's seen plenty of teammates come and go. There have been plenty of moves that have hurt over the course of Brady's 17 years with the Patriots. But for as important as he is to the organization, and for as much say as he may have when it comes to the look of the team's offense, he knows those decisions aren't his to make.
"I've been around for all those trades. Logan Mankins and Willie McGinest leaving. There's been so many great players," Brady said. "It's a part of the sport. It's not a part that I obviously enjoy, especially when you're on the player side, you deal with players on a very personal basis. You have very personal conversations. You understand the different aspects of people's life that they're going through.
"But there's the business aspect that I don't deal with, that management deals with, and they make decisions that they feel are right. It's always a tough part. And it's always surprising. It's never not surprising when something like that happens."