Report: Patriots did not know Tom Brady was leaving until night before
Tom Brady made a number of interesting revelations during his interview with Howard Stern on Wednesday, and one of them was that he knew before the start of the 2019 season that he was likely entering his final year with the New England Patriots. Apparently the team found out much later.
Brady visited Robert Kraft at the Patriots owner’s home the night before Brady announced on Instagram that he is leaving the team. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Patriots felt right up until that day that they had a chance to re-sign the four-time Super Bowl MVP.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 8, 2020
“Based on the people I’ve spoken with, they were still holding out hope that Brady would say to them, ‘Yes, I want to stay in New England’ and engage in some sort of contract discussions — anything to give them an inkling that he still wanted to be there,” Rapoport said. “That’s what they were waiting for.”
Not long after Brady announced his decision, Rapoport reported that the 42-year-old wanted to leave and that the Patriots would have been willing to match the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offer. While the former may be true, the latter seems highly unlikely. Bill Belichick has been taking it year-to-year with Brady for two years now, so it would make no sense for the coach to give Brady a two-year, fully guaranteed deal when the quarterback was coming off a down year and will turn 43 in August.
Even though Brady chose to leave New England, that does not necessarily mean there are hard feelings. He also tried to set the record straight on his relationship with Belichick during the Stern interview.