Tom Brady always has taken a very calculated approach to his career, whether it’s through his preparation, his handling of the media, his on-field tendencies or his business ventures.
So, it’s fair to assume he’ll tackle free agency the same way.
“Tom Brady kneecapped Bill Belichick on the way out the door if, in fact, he’s leaving,” Kellerman argued this week on ESPN’s “First Take.” “And the reason he did that was to prepare for this moment. Because Belichick doesn’t play games, he’s not going to overpay you. And Tom Brady knew that. They kept kicking the can down the road with him in terms of reworking the contract so he could be the GOAT. In exchange for giving up that money, he’s the greatest of all time, because they put a winning team around him and all that stuff. And when he was no longer good enough to even justify that money, Belichick wanted to move on.
” … So Brady had to start planning: ‘What am I gonna do next?’ Because to sell that TB12, he’s gotta be (playing at) 45 years old. Like, ‘I can play til I’m 45, I’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth,’ with the snake oil salesman (Alex Guerrero) he’s partnered with, right? And so he needs to keep playing and Belichick’s not gonna pay him. He did an end-around with (Patriots owner) Robert Kraft, got (Jimmy Garoppolo) shipped out of town. Now the cupboard’s bare. So this has all been leading to this moment, because the question’s always been: Who is it more — great combination — who is it more, Belichick or Brady?”
Kellerman has remained adamant in recent years that Belichick is more responsible for the Patriots’ dynasty than Brady, although the polarizing talking head acknowledges each is the greatest of all time at his respective role.
We might not be able to discern much moving forward from Brady’s production or the Patriots’ performance should the six-time Super Bowl champion leave New England this offseason, largely because he’s no longer in the prime of his career, but a divorce at least would give both Brady and Belichick the opportunity to showcase their talents as solo acts.
“Brady wants to go elsewhere to show it’s him and to sell his TB12 stuff, and Belichick — I’m sure, with guys with egos that big — wants to prove, ‘No, it’s me,’ ” Kellerman reasoned. “My prediction is where Brady goes, he will not have as much success as the Patriots have without him. But should they part ways at this point? Yes, unless Brady wants to get paid according to his actual ability right now, which apparently he doesn’t.”