Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw thinks quarterback Tom Brady must have felt unappreciated by the New England Patriots to leave the franchise in favor of the Tampa Bay Buccanneers.
Bradshaw, the four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, bluntly rationalized Brady’s exit from New England last week in an interview with The Athletic. Brady turns 43 in August ahead of his 21st NFL season.
In signing with the Buccaneers, Brady joins a team with the NFL’s second-longest postseason drought, as Tampa Bay has not made the playoffs since 2007.
“I don’t know what the hell Tom’s doing,” Bradshaw, a longtime NFL analyst at FOX, said. “I think Tom, at 43, there has to be something going on for him to want to leave there, right? Gotta be. He’s got to feel they don’t want him, he’s got to feel unappreciated.”
Brady guided the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles in his 20 seasons with the Patriots while playing under coach Bill Belichick. Bradshaw felt there had to be an underlying rift or feeling related to the value of player and coach.
“Why in the world does he want to keep on playing at 43 other than to prove to New England he’s more important than Bill Belichick?” Bradshaw said. “That’s the way I would look at it. Why the hell do you want to go to Tampa? The only thing I can think of is ego gets involved and you decide, ‘I’ll show ’em who’s more important.’
“He knows they’re saying, ‘Who was more important, the coach or the quarterback?’ Has Robert Kraft come out and said, ‘We want him back, we need him back, he’s our guy?’ Is anyone fighting for him? I haven’t noticed any of that.”
Brady has not spoken publicly since signing with the Buccaneers on Friday, with his lone accounting for the move being delivered via a statement on social media.
“Excited, humble and hungry …if there is one thing I have learned about football, it’s that nobody cares what you did last year or the year before that…you earn the trust and respect of those around through your commitment every single day,” Brady wrote. “I’m starting a new football journey and thankful for the @buccaneers for giving me an opportunity to do what I love to do. I look forward to meeting all my new teammates and coaches and proving to them that they can believe and trust in me…I have always believed that well done is better than well said, so I’m not gonna say much more – I’m just gonna get to work! #Year1”