If Tom Brady leaves the New England Patriots, I think his new team's head coach, general manager and offensive coordinator would all understand they would have to make concessions.
They want him to feel comfortable. They want him to feel like he has ownership in the offensive scheme.
There would be some give-and-take. They know they'll only have so many more years with Brady, so why not try to maximize that potential? You don't do that by starting from scratch or making him learn a brand new system.
He’s had a lot of success in that system in New England, and there are a lot of positives for him being able to grow that offense the way he wants to see it.
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The closest example for Brady joining another team would be when Peyton Manning went to Denver.
The Broncos allowed Peyton to put his touch on the offense and run a little bit more of what he was comfortable with. I believe any team bringing Brady in would also make those same concessions and say, “We want you to feel comfortable. We also want you to run an offense that you feel like you can have some success in.”
The offseason would be pivotal.
Brady would have to get in the building as soon as possible and have those conversations to understand what the offensive philosophy of that coordinator is, what kind of weapons they have and how to utilize those weapons.
For example: How do they run their checks on offense? Do they get out of certain plays or looks? Brady has been calling out protection schemes for the last 20 years; you always see him point to a linebacker and call out a certain protection. But some teams have the offensive line do that.
There’s a multitude of schematic factors that would go into Brady getting comfortable with a new team.
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But the biggest factor is terminology.
I had 12 offensive coordinators in 14 years, and everybody is a little different. When you are accustomed to the same word for a route concept for so many years, and then all of a sudden it’s a different word but the same route concept, it takes a second to process that in your brain.
When I had to learn a new offensive system, I would make flash cards, write down plays and watch film like I was cramming for a test. And that was before I even got onto the field.
Brady has never been a part of a different system. There has been nothing brand new that needs to be learned in the offseason; it's just building on what you did the year before.
That's going to be a factor for any team that brings Brady in: How much is their offensive terminology related to New England's? And how much leeway do they have to change what's already in place?
Because if you completely change what you did from the year before, it sets everybody back. The receivers, the offensive line, the running backs -- it’d be a learning curve for everybody.
If Brady leaves New England, I believe his best bet to be successful would be joining a team with similar offensive terminology.
He could be willing to go in there and start all over. He's a smart guy, so he could put it all on himself and say, “We’ll make some subtle adjustments, but I’ll learn your offensive scheme."
But that's asking a lot from a guy who’s been in the same system for 20 years.
Editor's note: Matt Cassel had a 14-year NFL career that included four seasons with the New England Patriots (2005-2008). He's joining the NBC Sports Boston team for this season. You can find him on game days as part of our Pregame Live and Postgame Live coverage, as well as every week on Tom E. Curran’s Patriots Talk podcast and NBCSportsBoston.com.