Ex-NFL QB Wonders If Tom Brady Is Willing To Take ‘Time’ To Join New Team

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January 30, 2020

MIAMI — Tom Brady’s priority over the last two offseasons has been to spend more time with his family. He skipped New England Patriots voluntary workouts and organized team activities in 2018 and 2019 to be around his wife and kids.

If Brady signs with a new team in free agency, he might not be able to continue to simply join the squad for minicamp and training camp and skip most of the spring. Because many hours will be required to either learn a new offense or install his system with a new squad.

“From a quarterback standpoint, that’s all I think about when I hear like, ‘Brady’s going to leave the Patriots.’ I’m like, ‘That’s crazy,'” former NFL quarterback and NFL Network analyst David Carr said Thursday at Super Bowl LIV media availability. “Why would you? People don’t understand the level that he was playing at and the level of sophistication that his offense had because he was able to be there for two decades.

“I don’t know that you can just roll into another place and unless you know the head coach and you’re going to bring in — unless his offensive coordinator is going to come from New England and go with him and travel to the new city. I just don’t know how you’re going to keep that same consistency unless you — like Tom Brady, and I don’t know if this is true — want to spend 12 hours a day trying to bring all of that information or everything you feel comfortable with, at least, to your new offense and then get that new team to buy into that, learn it all and then go play. Can it happen? Of course, it can happen. And I wouldn’t put anything past Brady making it work. I just don’t know if it’s possible, honestly.”

It seems highly unlikely that Josh McDaniels would follow Brady to his new team unless that franchise would be willing to fire their head coach and hire away the Patriots’ offensive coordinator. Former Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea knows the system, but he was hired as quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator of the Cleveland Browns. Former Patriots assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski also knows the offense, but he’s the QBs coach of the New York Giants. Mick Lombardi is the Patriots’ current assistant quarterbacks coach, but he’s only spent one season with Brady in New England. O’Shea, Schuplinski or Lombardi seemingly could be hired away from whatever team Brady would join to help install the offense but only as coordinators. And that would mean a lot of moving pieces.

“Tom Brady can go in and play in half of these teams and be as effective right now in any system,” Carr said. “He can come play in Kansas City and figure it out. But it’s just a matter of, ‘Is it a perfect fit?’ Because the beauty of what they did in New England is it’s the perfect storm. You have the perfect head coach, their offensive system is such that it works perfectly with Brady’s skillset. They really have been — you think about last year when they won the Super Bowl. They were running the football, they started developing into more of an I-formation team. They had (Rob Gronkowski) and they had Sony Michel and they were pounding the football with (James) Develin as the fullback. And they were kind of transitioning into what would maybe be Brady’s last years. ‘We’ll be more run-oriented, make him throw the ball on third down and in the red zone when we need it.’

“But I just can’t see him going somewhere else and trying to reinvent himself and do something completely different than what he’s done. It would be different. I remember talking to Peyton (Manning) about when he went to Denver and how much work that was to get the stuff that he felt comfortable with and liked and to translate that into what they were doing. I remember how difficult that was on him and how stressful that was and how much time that took. Now, is Brady willing to do that? I just don’t know. That’s a question probably for him.”

Manning was also younger, at 37 years old, when he joined the Broncos. Brady will be 43 next season. Kurt Warner is another quarterback who had success with multiple teams. But he knows there’s risk involved because between his successful stints with the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals, there were some lean years with the New York Giants.

“It’s finding that mesh so you can develop that and a guy who can call plays that fit into what your mindset is and it’s one of the reasons why — go back through the history of our game. How many great quarterbacks had great moments with two different organizations? You don’t hear about it,” Warner said. “The great ones stay in a system for 12, 15 years because it’s what they do well. So, that’s where I think it’s really, really hard.

“And I think that’s where I think there’s a lot at stake. There’s a lot at stake for Tom Brady if he goes somewhere else with everything he’s accomplished and does it tarnish that he’s the best ever? No. But we all know how we want to go out, and we all have egos and want to go out on top. Go somewhere else and prove you can win? I’ll tell you, it’s pretty good. It’s a special feeling to be able to win in two places. But go somewhere else and lose, and people see that. Nobody wants to do that. Nobody wants to do that especially late in their career with all he’s accomplished. I just think there’s a lot going on here, but that’s what’s going to make it fun. We have a lot to talk about even after Sunday.”

Brady will hit free agency on March 18. He can begin talking with other teams starting March 16.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, wide receiver Mohamed Sanu
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