Tom Brady's decision to leave the New England Patriots in NFL free agency was a shocking one to many fans across the region.
Brady had spent the first 20 years of his NFL career in New England and built a Hall of Fame-caliber résumé that includes six Super Bowl championships. The thought of the 42-year-old quarterback ever leaving the Patriots seemed impossible for some fans, but the reality is Brady will be playing for a new team, and in a new division and conference in 2020.
One former teammate who didn't expect Brady to leave the Patriots was Richard Seymour, who won three Super Bowl titles alongside the legendary quarterback from 2001 through 2008. On the latest episode of "The Michael Holley Podcast," Seymour described his reaction to Brady's departure and the challenge that lies ahead for the new Bucs star.
Click here to enter NBC Sports Boston’s Podcast Sweepstakes for your chance to win a desktop Bluetooth speaker/microphone!
"I'll say this, I thought it was unexpected," Seymour said. "I didn't see it happening, but I'll say this, Tom has earned that right. He's a guy that's always looking for new challenges, the ultimate competitor. I thought they would work it out and try to figure out a way to get it done, but it's a business and he's earned that right to test the market and see what's out there and how other organizations are ran, that sort of thing. Any time you go somewhere new, it brings out a new challenge -- new teammates, new coaches and a new system to learn. ... I think he's going to relish in that opportunity and I wish both of them well."
Patriots fans will always appreciate what Brady did for the franchise, and many of them probably will adopt the Buccaneers as a second team and root for the veteran QB to play well. Seymour is happy to cheer for both sides to enjoy plenty of success.
"Everyone always asks, 'Who are you going to pull for, the Patriots or Tom?' I think they can be mutually separate," Seymour explained. "Tom's a lifelong friend. I've know him for 20-plus years, so you always want to see him succeed. Obviously, the Patriots drafted me and there's always a ton of respect for them and the winning culture. I have love in my heart for both."