Rarely in today's age of professional sports does an athlete stick with one team his/her entire career.
Not even Tom Brady, who announced last week he was leaving the New England Patriots in NFL free agency after spending the first 20 years and winning six Super Bowl championships with the franchise. Brady decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and his father, Tom Brady Sr., thinks the move to Florida could reinvigorate the 42-year-old quarterback.
“Twenty years is about four lifetimes in the sports world," Brady Sr. said this week on the "Raising Fame" podcast hosted by Dell and Sonya Curry. "It's pretty unusual people don’t leave one franchise for another. After 20 years, I just kind of sense that this is going to be kind of a new chapter, kind of a way to reinvigorate things. The Patriots were darn good to us and darn good to Tommy.
"Now that he’s moved on, it's kind of fun. We get to see some different sides of the world. We don’t get down to Florida very often and down to that area. It's pretty cool, and I think it is for him, too. I think he's going to be a little bit reinvigorated because after 20 years things get a touch more boring.”
There are plenty of reasons why Brady could be re-energized in Tampa Bay.
Playing for a new head coach in Bruce Arians, who has a different style than Bill Belichick, could be a welcomed change. The Buccaneers also will be able to surround Brady with a lot of top-tier offensive talent led by wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, as well as tight end O.J. Howard. Let's not forget the weather is nicer in Tampa Bay than it is in New England, particularly during football season. Brady also will play in front of a fan base that hasn't been this excited for a new football season in a very long time.
Brady Sr. also talked about Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
The relationship between Brady and Belichick has been discussed quite a bit over the last few months, and whether that relationship could have impacted the quarterback's free agent decision.
Brady Sr. didn't want to describe the split as a divorce.
"I can’t tell you the hundreds of times that Tommy has said Bill is the best coach in football. Tommy sings Bill’s praises," Brady Sr. said. "Divorce sounds a little bit harsh. I think it's a separation. Bill’s got a lot of responsibilities to keep the Patriots on track and that is a bigger responsibility than keeping Tommy under the hood. Both of them are mature individuals. I really respect Bill’s decision and respect Tommy’s decision as well. It's OK to take different paths. You don’t have to stay adjoined at the hip.”
Brady and Belichick spent the last 20 years together and enjoyed unprecedented success as the greatest QB-coach tandem in league history. Their legacies are cemented regardless of what happens without each other for the next few years.