After two decades of being a near-perfect company man, Tom Brady reportedly wanted the respect and the appreciation he felt he’d earned and deserved.
Brady’s New England departure was among the slew of Patriots topics covered in Seth Wickersham’s new book, “It’s Better To Be Feared,” which is set to be published Oct. 12. ESPN on Wednesday offered a sneak peek of sorts, which includes details about what drove the future Hall of Fame quarterback out of Foxboro.
“Wickersham writes that Brady ultimately left New England not only because both (Bill) Belichick and (Robert) Kraft refused to commit to him until his stated goal of playing until age 45 — it was believed that Belichick thought Brady was close to the end — but because he wanted to be at an organization that welcomed his input rather than ignored it, something he ultimately found in Tampa Bay,” ESPN wrote.
Wickersham adds: “Tom Brady had been curious if there was another way of winning, and while nobody was arguing that Bruce Arians was a better coach than Bill Belichick, or even close, the seamlessness of Brady’s proficiency and performance was making his former coach’s methodologies look antiquated, even silly. It was better to be feared — but was it necessary?”
Brady’s curiosity, of course, led to a great decision. He won his seventh Super Bowl championship in his first campaign with Tampa Bay, and the Buccaneers are poised to be legitimate contenders for the Lombardi Trophy this season.
Belichick’s Patriots, meanwhile, floundered in their first post-Brady season, posting a below-.500 record for the first time since 2000. New England also has struggled in the early goings of this season.
So, if you’re into the whole, “Who won the breakup?” thing, it’s pretty clearly one-sided. Brady will look to add another notch to his belt Sunday when he returns to Gillette Stadium for the first time as a visiting player.