New England Patriots fans are used to watching Tom Brady in January, but it'll be a strange sight when their former quarterback suits up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday.
When Brady takes the field for the Bucs' wild-card matchup vs. the Washington Football Team, it'll mark his first playoff game in a non-Patriots uniform. The 43-year-old will look to earn his seventh Super Bowl title after throwing 40 touchdown passes for his new team in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Patriots are left scrambling for a serviceable QB this offseason following their failed Cam Newton experiment.
Is there anything New England could have done to keep Brady from signing elsewhere last spring? On a brand new Patriots Talk Podcast, Phil Perry and Tom E. Curran discussed two specific scenarios that could have kept Brady in Foxboro.
"If these two things happened, is Tom Brady here still? If Antonio Brown doesn't get into further trouble, and if N'Keal Harry is not N'Keal Harry, but is A.J. Brown? I think he is," Perry said.
"If those two things had happened, we might be looking at a much different situation at quarterback."
Curran agreed, but noted Brady's discontent with how he was treated during his final years in Foxboro may have been too much to resolve.
"Maybe Brady was never going to alter how he began to feel at 38 and 39 about, '[expletive], man, I'm not a kid anymore. I can't keep taking this. Even if Bill [Belichick] at a point put his arm around him and said, 'Hey, let's have a good time down the stretch here. We've been through a lot. Let's work this out together.' Maybe he would've met him halfway, or maybe he wouldn't have.
"But certainly after that 2016 Super Bowl -- we discussed it last week -- after that win, Brady said, 'You know what? I'm going in for Tom now.' And Bill wasn't having that.' "
Also discussed in the new episode: The Patriots’ decline has little to do with past ‘aggressiveness’; Phil Perry’s NFL mock draft; Is it surprising Josh McDaniels isn’t in the mix for HC jobs around the NFL? And Albert Breer breaks down the best head coach jobs in the NFL.