FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady has been a New England Patriot for nearly 20 years, so he’s become somewhat accustomed to seeing teammates come and go. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it gets any easier.
The latest teammate Brady bid farewell was linebacker Jamie Collins, who the Patriots traded to the Cleveland Browns for a draft pick Monday. Brady and Collins were key pieces of the Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX win, and now Collins becomes the latest on a long list of notable ex-teammates for the New England quarterback.
“You’re just a human, and you have these personal relationships with a lot of players,” Brady said Wednesday. “I had great relationships with a lot of those guys, and I still do. I don’t think that ever changes. You also understand there’s always change in the NFL. It’s a challenging part of it, and the older you get, the more you see, the more you understand and the faster you process that. That’s just the way it has to go. The changes take place in offseason, they take place in training camp, you can very easily lose a player to injury, and it’s always changing and evolving. It’s the challenging part of the NFL … but everyone’s going to stay in touch with him, and he’s going to be our friend for life, and that doesn’t change.”
Ultimately, Brady and his teammates know the Patriots must turn the page and focus on improving the team as it’s currently constituted, even without Collins.
“We as players, it’s not our choice,” he said. “We can’t do anything about it. At this point, we’ve just gotta do what our job is and that’s go out and try to make improvements for this week and be ready to go next week.”
The Patriots have an extra week to adjust to life without Collins, as they’re hitting their bye week before returning to play Nov. 13 against the Seattle Seahawks at Gillette Stadium.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images