While Tom Brady’s time in New England has come to an end, a pair of former Patriots want fans to celebrate the quarterback and not let the exit overshadow all he accomplished.
A pair of former Brady teammates and current NFL analysts — Rob Ninkovich and Damien Woody — were on ESPN’s “NFL Live on Tuesday to share their thoughts of the development, prior to Brady reportedly agreeing to a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I just think that it should be a celebration of what Tom has brought to the Patriots for 20 years,” Ninkovich, who played with Brady from 2009 to 2016, said. “Fans, they witnessed something that I don’t think you’re ever going to see again — 20 years of excellence.
“So, really, everybody who is angry about him not being a Patriot anymore, look, it’s a business. We all know that things change and guys move on,” Ninkovich said. “It’s been 20 years. So, I think you should really celebrate the time you got to root for Tom for 20 years with the Patriots.”
Woody, who played with Brady from 2000 to 2003, said much of the same. The former offensive lineman even recalled Brady’s rookie year in 2000 when he was fresh out of the University a Michigan as the No. 199 overall pick.
“Oh, I saw it first-hand. Listen, I saw it Brady’s rookie year, back in 2000, when Brady was a fourth-string quarterback coming in behind Drew Bledsoe, John Friesz and Michael Bishop,” Woody said. “I mean, think about it. You’re a sixth-round draft pick. Think of what it takes to move up the ladder and ultimately get the starting gig. That shows you in and of itself, the tireless work ethic that Tom Brady has, the fire that he had.
“Once he stepped into that role. I mean he basically clutched and held it down for 20 years,” Woody said. “I just want people to really appreciate what it takes to be excellent for 20 years — 20 years in one spot. And to have the type of success that Tom Brady had with the New England Patriots, I don’t know if we’ll ever see anything like that again.”
It certainly was an unprecedented run.