Tom Brady on Wednesday claimed he knew heading into the 2019 NFL season that it probably would be his last with the New England Patriots.
Colin Cowherd isn’t completely buying that statement.
If you ask “The Herd” host, the idea of departing Foxboro first crept into the quarterback’s mind a few years back.
“You just don’t make a decision then. Doors are opened,” Cowherd said Wednesday on FOX Sports 1. “What they say is, before people have affairs physically, they have emotional affairs, right? You start flirting a little bit before you have the affair. Well, January 2018, ESPN The Magazine — multiple, or at least one coach up the food chain, ‘We can win Super Bowls with a lot of other quarterbacks.’ That opened the door to the flirting. That opened the door to opportunity.
“It’s the Kevin Durant-Draymond Green fight. It didn’t decide it, but it opened up the door and once the door gets opened, people start flirting with you and sending you roses — the door has to be opened. Tom Brady had never considered leaving. He joked about it, he said it’s the best place. January 2018, New England coaches sell him out in an article. It opened the door to the flirting.”
Tom Brady didn't ask to be treated as royalty. He just wanted to feel appreciated by the Patriots. @ColinCowherd reacts to Tom Brady's interview with Howard Stern: pic.twitter.com/H8hwwrFmWX
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) April 8, 2020
Cowherd believes the series of events following the publication of that ESPN article only pushed Brady further toward the exit. Bill Belichick elected not to play Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII, which the Patriots lost due to an inability to slow down the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense. While New England earned redemption the following year with a Super Bowl LIII win over the Los Angeles Rams, it still wasn’t enough for Brady to earn a long-term contract offer from the only franchise he’d ever known.
We’ve heard rumors Belichick a few years ago began considering the Patriots’ future at quarterback beyond Brady. Who’s to say the star signal-caller wasn’t evaluating his potential next steps, as well?