Revisionist history is a terrible habit, isn’t it? That’s exactly what’s going on with this “Bill Belichick moving on from Tom Brady is the worst decision in the history of sports” debate that’s been making the talk show rounds this week. After Brady’s stellar start to the season, all you hear lately is “I can’t believe THIS is the guy Belichick thought was washed!” or “THIS is the ‘old man’ that Belichick thought lost a step!?”. And that narrative is wrong. Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Neither guy wanted to play with each other anymore.
My Thoughts on the Subject – Tom Brady/Bill Belichick
The issue I have with this entire thing is the narrative that Belichick just didn’t think Brady was good enough. Or that he wanted to ‘push him out the back door’ for some reason. There is no validity to that whatsoever. It’s not that simple, and it’s irresponsible to act like it was.
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) September 22, 2021
Do you think Belichick regrets letting Brady & Gronk go after watching them dominate this season?
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) September 21, 2021
Last time I checked, Belichick likes winning, correct? Okay, stay with me here…so why would he want to get rid of someone who has helped him win more than ANY player he’s ever coached? How does that make sense? I’ll answer it for you, it doesn’t. There are a ton of factors that went into this decision, but I can promise you that Belichick thinking Brady is ‘washed’ was not one of them. Belichick is a tremendous judge of talent and he’s not too dense to see that Brady certainly still had gas left in the tank.
May I add….
Oh.. And then you’ll have people like Skip Bayless spout off from behind his talk show desk saying that Belichick has an ego and that’s what forced Brady out of town. An argument I could actually get behind…if he didn’t already push his ego aside for the last 20 years or ever since Brady became “Brady”.
Listen, I’m not going to sit here and say that Belichick didn’t WANT to move on from Brady. He clearly did. But can we have to stop pretending like Tom was this neutral figure who got shafted and sent packing. Brady didn’t want to be here either. It was a mutual break up where both sides just grew tired of each other. We see it in the real world, and we saw it between these two GOAT’s.
Tom Brady got tired of the way Belichick runs his ship. And that’s fine. The same thing happened with numerous other players and will continue to happen. We saw it with Gronk to the point where the guy would rather retire than play on the Patriots. But that’s not an indictment on Belichick. His way works. Is it the only way? Nope. But the track record speaks for itself. Again, the relationship just soured and both guys wanted to move on.
The Actual Debate: Moving on From Brady!
Now to bring it back to the actual debate of whether or not this is the worst decision in sports history…that’s bananas. There are so many variables that go into this move, it’s not as simple as Belichick just moving on from Brady. You have to look at where their relationship was, Brady’s age, Belichick’s responsibility to the team and so many other things. And with all that in mind, this isn’t even close to the worst decision in sports history. Mostly because we don’t even have the entire story written yet.
In order to properly tell if this was indeed a “Final season of Game of Thrones” level bad decision, we need to wait until both parties are done and retired. Sure, as we speak, Brady has come out looking a little better. That’s obvious. A great 2020 season topped off with a Super Bowl ring is prettay, prettay good. Especially when you look at the putrid year the Patriots had last season complete with missing the playoffs entirely. But like I said, we need to wait until the entire book is written on these two storied careers. What we’re seeing right now is just another chapter.
What happens if Belichick goes on to win 3 Super Bowls with Mac Jones and Brady retires in a couple years without winning another? Or what if Belichick even goes on to win ONE Super Bowl with Mac? That’d be the same amount as Brady (assuming he doesn’t win another), so you could say they both came out on top. You can’t definitively claim that the decision to move on from Brady was ‘the worst’ because there are too many plates still spinning.
Wrapping Up: Tom Brady – Bill Belichick
And to wrap this up, I need to stick up for my coach for a minute. It’s Bill Belichick’s job to make decisions for the Patriots present, but also their future. He plans on sticking around for a while, so he wants to make sure his team can win now and years from now. Moving on from Brady was a gamble, but don’t for one second think this wasn’t a calculated risk for the benefit of the team.
There was always going to be a drop in results when Brady left. Regardless if that was last year, this year or the next. We’ve withstood that drop. And now Belichick has the QB of the future with Mac Jones and is seemingly setting up his team for another Dynasty run. In Bill’s mind, you let go of Brady a year early as opposed to a year late (A philosophy he’s had with every single player) and then you build for the next stage. And he’s done that. Also, let’s not forget that the Patriots would have offered Brady a similar deal to what he got in Tampa.
The #Patriots likely would have done this contract, though Tom Brady never came to them with his desire to return. So there was no offer from NE. In the end, only the #Bucs and the #Chargers made offers. The #Raiders sat it out, as well, never offering Brady a deal. https://t.co/Pep1omas6O
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2020
Can’t sign a guy who doesn’t want to be here. And you can’t fault Brady for wanting to leave. Just like you can’t fault Belichick for wanting to move on to the next stage of his Patriots career.
Anyone with a brain can look at this situation and see a 20 year relationship that simply soured. Most relationships do. Why do you think the divorce rate is so high? Bill and Tom had a historic 20 year run. We’ll likely never see anything like it again. But the attraction faded, they started sleeping in separate rooms and pretty soon they became roommates instead of partners. And that’s when a change needed to be made.
At the end of the day, Brady got tired of playing under Belichick and Bill was ready to move on. Like I said, it was mutual. So sure, you can say it was a bad decision to let Brady walk, but I don’t think there was really a ‘decision’. This was something that has been bubbling for years and when both sides saw a way out, they took it. No harm, no foul. This isn’t as simple coach moving on from a future Hall of Fame QB. This wasn’t Belichick looking at Brady and thinking he sucks. This definitely wasn’t Belichick pushing Brady away so he can forge his own legacy.
Was this the ‘worst decision in the history of sports’ like everyone is saying? No. It was a change that needed to happen. Brady is better off for it, and it’s starting to look like Belichick will be fine as well. See ya Week 4…
(Featured Photo Credit BostonMagazine.com)
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Mike Sullivan (@msully5433 on Twitter)