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The Patriots’ first attempt at finding a franchise quarterback to succeed Tom Brady failed when Mac Jones couldn’t get the job done. Now they’re onto their second attempt at replacing Brady after drafting Drake Maye with the third overall pick.

Brady said he has spent time with Maye and told him that whether he succeeds or not is ultimately up to him.

“I’m very fortunate to be around him, and I like him a lot,” Brady said of Maye in an interview with Yahoo Sports. “I’ve heard great things about him. But his opportunity is going to be really what he makes of it, and how he wants to develop it, and how he wants to attack his profession, like we all do. It’s not where you’re at when you’re 22, it’s who you’re around when you’re 22. Who inspires you to be better? Who develops you?”

Maye has not yet been handed the starting job and is expected to begin training camp behind Jacoby Brissett on the depth chart. That indicates the Patriots intend to bring Maye along slowly. Brady thinks how well Maye develops will be mostly up to Maye himself.

The Patriots took care of a final bit of contractual business before moving into summer vacation mode.

Field Yates of ESPN reports that the team signed second-round pick Ja’Lynn Polk to his four-year rookie deal. Polk was the final unsigned player from this year’s draft class.

Polk was part of a dynamic offense at Washington with first-round picks Michael Penix Jr. and Rome Odunze and he caught 110 passes for 1,853 yards and 15 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

Dynamic has not been a word for recent Patriots offenses, but the hope in New England is that Polk and first-round quarterback Drake Maye can help bring brighter days on that side of the ball.

In late 2021, Tom Brady said this regarding his post-football life: “I imagine not playing. And I imagine watching football on Sundays going, ‘These guys suck.’ I could do way better than that. And then still knowing in my heart that I actually could still do it.”

To this day, he knows in his heart that he could still do it. And as he prepares for his first year in broadcasting he’s sort of saying, “These guys suck.”

During a recent media tour for his latest paper chase (we weren’t invited), Brady spoke to Yahoo Sports and provided an assessment of current quarterback play in the NFL.

“I think the quarterbacking has gone backwards a little bit in the NFL,” Brady said Wednesday. “I don’t think it’s improved. I don’t think the teaching’s improved. I think maybe the physical fundamentals might be a little bit improved because there’s better information out there for quarterbacks to study on mechanics. But I don’t think quarterbacks really are really field generals right now like they used to be.

“It’s a broad statement, certainly. But I had total control. I had all the tools I needed. I was coached that way. I was developed to have the tools that I needed to go on the field so that whenever something came up, I had the right play, the right formation, the right audible, the right check at the line — to ultimately take control of the 11 guys on offense and get us into a good, positive play.”

Brady sees what many in the NFL have seen, for years. Quarterbacks have less control in college, which leads to less control at the next level.

“I think now, there’s this try-to-control element from the sideline between the coaches, where they want to have the control,” Brady said. “And they’re not teaching and developing the players the right tools so that they can go out on the field and make their own decisions that are best suited for the team. When I looked at Peyton Manning, he was a guy that I looked up to because he had ultimate control. And I think the game’s regressed in a little bit of that way, based on what’s happened in high school football, college football and then the NFL’s getting a much lesser developed quarterback at this point.”

Brady puts the onus on the whole game to improve the situation.

“It’s on everybody,” Brady said. “It’s on players, it’s on coaches, it’s on the league, it’s on the colleges. Think about it: There’s no continuity anymore. Not even in high school. Not even in college. There’s no programs that are developing [quarterbacks] in college. They’re just teams now. So you play one year here, one year here, one year here. Well, how can you be good at something in a job if you’re only working at one place for one year, then going to another place for one year, then to another place for one year?”

It will be interesting to see how much of that candor comes from Brady during his first year in the booth. There’s a fine line for Brady to tread. On one hand, people will want fair criticism. On the other hand, if he goes too far he’ll come off as Abe Simpson yelling at clouds. And if he strays into the “back in my day” rants, it just won’t work.

Tom Brady says there’s no way to say who had more to do with the Patriots’ success, himself or Bill Belichick.

As he was inducted into the Patriots’ Hall of Fame and had his jersey retired Wednesday night in New England, Brady addressed Belichick and said he couldn’t have had the same level of success with any other coach.

“To Coach Belichick, thank you for your tireless commitment to develop and push me to be my very best. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t you, it was us,” Brady said. “Our hard work, our love of the game, and the way we worked for one another, that’s what it was all about. Let me make this crystal clear: There is no coach in the world I would rather play for than Bill Belichick.”

Brady winning a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers, and Belichick going 4-13 in his last year with the Patriots, served as a strong indication that Brady is the one who deserves the bulk of the credit for the Patriots’ dynasty. But Brady isn’t going to say that, calling himself and Belichick equally responsible for their six championships.

The Patriots had a number of surprises for Tom Brady on Wednesday night as they inducted him into the franchise’s Hall of Fame before a crowd of 60,000 at Gillette Stadium.

The biggest surprise came when owner Robert Kraft ended the night by announcing the franchise is retiring the No. 12 Brady wore for 20 seasons with the team.

As the 35th inductee into the Patriots’ Hall of Fame, Brady has a red Hall of Fame jacket to wear instead.

“There’s only one iconic number that will represent Tom Brady,” owner Robert Kraft said. “And tonight, I promise that it will never be worn again. The number 12 is now officially retired.”

The Patriots also will erect a 12-foot bronze statue of Brady in the plaza outside the team’s Hall of Fame and Pro Shop.

Brady won six Super Bowls with the Patriots before leaving and winning a seventh in his first of three seasons in Tampa.

He ended his speech by saying, “I am Tom Brady, and I’m a Patriot.”