Tom Brady Opens Up About His Relationship With Bill Belichick & Patriots On ‘The Howard Stern Show’
As questions were raised about Tom Brady’s future following the conclusion of the 2019 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers emerged as the team Brady felt was ready to win now and the two parties eventually agreed on a two-year $50 million deal on March 20. Since choosing his next destination, rumors swirled over whether Brady’s relationship with Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick had an impact on his departure or not. The six-time Super Bowl champion appeared on The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday for a two-hour interview where he expressed his feelings regarding New England and his feelings towards Belichick.
Brady was initially asked about the notion that he wouldn’t be as successful if Belichick wasn’t his coach.
“I think it’s a pretty s—ty argument actually that people would say that, because again, I can’t do his job, and he can’t do mine,” Brady said on the show. “So the fact you could say, ‘Would I be successful without him, the same level of success?’ I don’t believe I would have been. But I feel the same vice versa, as well. To have him allowed me to be the best I can be, so I’m grateful for that. I very much believe that he feels the same way about me, because we’ve expressed that to each other.”
Brady responded assuredly when asked if he was upset about Belichick not making him a Patriot for life with a new contract.
“No, absolutely not. No, because this is a part for me, in my life, to experience something very different,” Brady said. “There are ways for me to grow and evolve in a different way that I haven’t had the opportunity to do – that aren’t right or wrong, but just right for me. I never cared about legacy. I could give a s— about that. I never once, when I was in high school, said, ‘Man, I can’t wait for what my football legacy looks like.’ That’s just not me. That’s just not my personality.”
He told Stern “it was just time” to open a new chapter in his career.
“I think he has a lot of loyalty. He and I have had a lot of conversations that nobody has ever been privy to, nor should they be, that so many wrong assumptions were made about our relationship or about how he felt about me. I know genuinely how he feels about me,” Brady said. “Now I’m not going to respond to every rumor or assumption that’s made, other than what his responsibility as coach is to get the best player for the team – not only in the short term but in the long term as well.
“So what I could control is trying to be the best I could be in both of those situations also. I got into uncharted territory as an athlete because I started to break the mold of what so many other athletes had experienced, so I got to the point where I was an older athlete and he’s starting to plan for the future, which is what his responsibility is. I don’t fault him for that. That’s what he should be doing. Not that I would ever coach, but if I was ever in a position of authority, I would understand that too.”
Brady later added that he made his “final, final decision” on March 16 when he met with Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft at his home where Brady recalled tearing up. “But I would say I probably knew before the start of last season that it was my last year,” Brady said. “I knew that our time was coming to an end.”