This NFL off season has struck fear into the hearts of New England Patriot’s fans all across the country. Could it be? We’ve all heard the rumors. He wants more money. He may team up with Mike Vrabel in Tennessee. He may head out west to play for the Chargers. The Raiders?! The COWBOYS?!?!?! Preposterous. Or, after all the talk and all the hype, will he stay in the place he knows best?
That’s right, folks. On March 17th, for the first time in his two decade long NFL career, Tom Brady will become an unrestricted free agent.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane. 198 mistakes later, Tom Brady was selected by the Patriots with the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft. After taking over for an injured Drew Bledsoe in 2001, Brady led the Patriots to their first Super Bowl victory against the Rams. This marked the beginning of a legendary NFL career. He went on to win six Super Bowls in nine appearances, all the while accumulating quite the assortment of personal accolades. Brady has been the league MVP three times, the Super Bowl MVP four times, and has been selected to 14 Pro Bowls. His exceptional play on the field has made a very compelling argument for being able to call him the greatest quarterback of all-time.
As a die-hard Tom Brady fan, I will fully admit my bias right here and now. If a day comes where I have to see Tom Brady in another uniform, I am not ashamed to admit that tears will flow freely down my cheeks. With that being said, I don’t believe I’ll have to experience that pain.
Here are the top five reasons why Tom Brady will NOT leave the New England Patriots:
- Joe Montana has advised against leaving
Everyone has their own opinion about what Tom Brady should do now that he’s a free agent. Frankly, he doesn’t care what the average person has to say. Though, Joe Montana could be a very different story. Growing up in San Mateo, California, Brady idolized Joe Montana. Brady frequently attended 49ers games with his family and aspired to be like Montana when he grew up. Therefore, Montana’s opinion could carry a lot more weight. When he was asked about the possibility of Brady leaving New England, Montana advised him not to, if he could avoid it. He stressed how difficult it is to leave a team you’ve been with your whole career, especially at his age. Of course, Montana speaks from experience. After 14 years with the 49ers, he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993 at age 36. From one GOAT to another: Don’t leave the Patriots, Tom.
- His last pass as a Patriot was a pick-six
Tom Brady is the ultimate competitor. Throughout his whole life, his work ethic has been his most dominant trait. Despite his consistent greatness, he has always played with a chip on his shoulder. Against the Titans in the 2020 AFC Wild Card game, Brady started an improbable attempt at a game-winning drive from his own one yard line with 15 seconds left to play. His first pass attempt of the drive was intercepted by former teammate Logan Ryan and returned for a touchdown, ending any hope for a comeback. Knowing the kind of person he is and the kind of career he’s had in New England, there is no way he’ll let his final pass with the Patriots be a pick-six. He has some unfinished business to take care of in Foxboro.
- His Super Bowl commercial for Hulu
His controversial Instagram post leading up to Super Bowl Sunday featured a black and white photo of him walking out of a stadium. Or was he walking back in? Public opinion was split. His distant, shadowy figure in the photo left more questions than answers. In the end, it turned out to be a preview for his Hulu Super Bowl ad. In the advertisement, he talked about how “all good things come to an end.” He builds up his speech to make it appear that he’s retiring, but then announces that it’s time to say goodbye to cable in favor of Hulu with live TV. In his last line of the commercial, Tom says, “But me? I’m not going anywhere.” With those words, fans all across New England could stop holding their breath, if only for a second. Many people simply took this to mean he intends to play next season, but I already assumed that. I’m going to take it one step further: Tom is not going ANYWHERE. He’s staying in New England.
- His entire brand is based out of the Boston area
Brady’s extremely popular TB12 brand has taken the sports world by storm. Its three main focuses are performance, recovery, and nutrition. On its website, you can purchase his book, TB12 apparel and accessories, pliability and performance equipment, and various nutritional supplements including electrolytes and protein powder. Despite the brand’s online presence, the only physical locations are in Boston and Foxboro. The Foxboro location is TB12’s headquarters and is located at Gillette Stadium in Patriot Place. There’s no doubt that TB12 would achieve success in other markets. But it would be a huge undertaking to uproot the brand he’s started in Massachusetts for the sake of playing somewhere else in his final years. The TB12 brand starts and ends in Massachusetts and the same goes for its founder.
- The Patriots are his best option for immediate success
As much as the rest of the NFL wants to see Tom Brady leave the Patriots, I would like to see them name one option better than New England. There’s no turnkey franchise to which Tom Brady can waltz in and achieve immediate success. Critics of the Patriots would argue that they don’t have enough talent to entice Brady to stick around. This simply isn’t true. Last season, they had a top defense all year. They led the league in fewest points allowed, fewest yards allowed, and most interceptions. They also set an NFL record for fewest third down conversions allowed, as well as best third down conversion percentage. As for the offense, the weapons are there. They were just injured. Julian Edelman battled injuries all year long and never played at full strength. N’Keal Harry, the Patriots top draft pick last season, spent the first half of the season on IR. Once he came back, flashes of brilliance were seen. Center David Andrews and fullback James Develin, both key members of the blocking game, were lost early in the season and did not return. Despite this, their offensive line improved from previous seasons and they still have an excellent core of running backs that include Sony Michel, James White, and Rex Burkhead.
Additionally, the Patriots have an owner in Robert Kraft who will do seemingly anything to keep Brady in New England. When you combine this with the fact that the Patriots have undoubtedly the best coaching staff in the league, there is no reason to go elsewhere. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have combined to win six Super Bowls together in the last twenty years. Josh McDaniels, the Patriots offensive coordinator, declined a head coaching position with the Indianapolis Colts two years ago and stayed in New England again this off season. The combination of Brady, Belichick, and McDaniels is a recipe for success that has been thriving for years. All the pieces are in place for the dynasty to continue. Now it’s time for Tom Brady to put pen to paper and get ready to put on his Patriots uniform for next season.