Tom Brady was a class act when he left the New England Patriots. But deep down he could be hurting more than he’s letting on, according to one Hall of Famer.
The quarterback’s 20-year stint with the Patriots came to a close Friday when Brady signed a two-year, $50 million deal that includes $9 million in incentives with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While closing the deal likely gave the six-time Super Bowl champ some peace of mind, after what proved to be a highly anticipated decision, Shannon Sharpe suggested Wednesday on “Undisputed” that it’s not that simple.
“We know this hurt Tom, because we can look at this one of two ways,” he said. “Coach (Bill) Belichick says ‘I believe that I can win just as many games without Tom Brady that I can with Tom Brady’ or — this one probably hurts worse — ‘I would rather lose over the next couple of years than keep Tom Brady on my roster.’ Now, one of those two things are true. (It’s) as simple as that.”
Of course, there are other factors that played into the decision on Belichick’s end. But on the most basic level, that’s the message that was sent. And in Sharpe’s eyes, it boils down to a matter of pride.
“… The more accomplished you are, the greater the pride that you have. Tom Brady’s pride is hurt,” he continued. “Coach Belichick was only willing to go year by year for a guy that was so accomplished that these six Super Bowls, (regardless of) how much credit you want to give Tom Brady, he had something to do with it. And coach Belichick says, ‘No, I’ve got one year for you.’
“Whereas the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — he’s accomplished nothing for them — say, “Tom, we’ve got two years guaranteed for you. We’ve got $50 million guaranteed, with another $9 million in incentives.’ So it hurt. I know it hurt Tom Brady.”
.@ShannonSharpe on how Tom Brady feels about his tenure in New England ending:
"We know this hurt Tom..the more accomplished a person is, the more pride he or she has. Tom Brady's pride is hurt." pic.twitter.com/rMR6eFMY8q
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) March 25, 2020
Sharpe knows a thing or two about this type of situation. When his 10-year stint with the Denver Broncos came to a close after the 1999 season, Sharpe recalled feeling like the team thought they’d better off without him. This came after he helped lead the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998.
Granted, Sharpe made it clear the circumstances between him and Brady are different in a number of ways. But on an emotional level, he feels confident he understands what Brady is experiencing.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images