NFL analysts and fans were likely surprised by Tom Brady's earth-shattering announcement on Tuesday in which he got ahead of things and noted that although he had no destination to announce yet, he wouldn't be returning to Foxborough. The New England Patriots, on the other hand, shouldn't have been all that shocked.
After all, the team reportedly pushed Brady away with their lowball contract offer, which was reiterated over, and over, and over again.
It was later reported that Brady agreed to a soon-to-be-announced deal, reported to be worth $30 million per year, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In terms of winners and losers, it's impossible not to identify Bill Belichick as the individual who lost the most.
How could he not be? Owner Robert Kraft, who considers Brady a son, would have retained the three-time MVP in a heartbeat at any price. It's apparent that Belichick was at the center of this divorce, refusing to pay for past performance once again, even with the most important asset of our generation.
Brady proved as recently as one year ago that he was capable of leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl win. What changed in 2019 was the fact that tight end Rob Gronkowski, the team's most dynamic weapon and proven vertical threat, retired before the campaign. He was never replaced in the draft...why, exactly?
There's no doubting that Brady's accuracy and overall arm strength regressed last season, but the talent around him didn't do him any favors. Why else do we think he's decided to play in Tampa where he'll be throwing to the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and OJ Howard?
New England has yet to make any improvements on offense, and they just lost a quarterback who led the team to six world championships. You could argue all day that Belichick was equally as important as Brady for two decades, but the head coach wasn't on the field delivering in the clutch all those years. And with a severe talent deficiency, it's unlikely Belichick will be able to do all that "winning without Brady" he's always dreamed of in 2020.
The Patriots could very easily make a run at the postseason in 2020, but their ceiling will be limited, as the defense disappears and Brady leaves for greener pastures. We'd take a 42-year-old TB12 over Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, and Andy Dalton all day, everyday. The lockdown corners remain in place, but how is this team stopping the run? How is this team tougher than Buffalo?
Sorry, Bill, but you're the big loser here. Your big gambit isn't going to be so easy after all.