If there was one thing to take from the New England Patriots' 2019 campaign, it's that Tom Brady, for the first time in his 20 years in the NFL, started to show signs his age was starting to catch up with him.
Though he didn't set career lows in any major statistical category, the ever-reliable eye test was all you needed to draw that conclusion. Naturally, Brady apologists would come to his defense, and, more often than not, their first rebuttal would reference the Patriots' second-rate offensive weapons.
Now, TB12 is reportedly seeing to it that New England brings in more talent on the perimeter, and probably at the tight end position.
If they don't grant his wish, it's quite possible the six-time Super Bowl champ will play out the remainder of his career outside of Foxborough.
What's even more hard to believe? Brady petitioning for the Patriots to spend money (or trade for) on offensive weapons in his age-43 season. Why wait this long? Because it's clear he needs more help.
When the last time you remember the Patriots spending big in the offseason or making a blockbuster trade to bring in top talent? Mohamed Sanu was their big gamble this past season and it failed. Before that? Josh Gordon, Brandin Cooks, Wes Welker, Randy Moss ... nothing entirely too impactful on paper (though Welker and Moss ended up being otherworldly for the Pats).
Was New England's wideout group the worst that its been in the Brady era in 2019? Probably, but it's been never been imposing. Julian Edelman is the ultimate competitor, but there's a reason he hasn't been named to a Pro Bowl.
Rob Gronkowski missed an untold number of games throughout his career, which was the driving factor that led to his retirement. And when he was shelved, New England wasn't the same team on offense. Why wasn't Brady clamoring for more weapons then?
We could truly go on for hours if we were to dissect the Patriots' receiving corps over the years and how Brady conveniently refrained from voicing his dissatisfaction. Remember Chris Hogan? Brandon LaFell?
It just confirms the absurdity behind Brady waiting until the closing chapters of his NFL career to demand a more well-rounded arsenal of talent in Foxborough. It seems misplaced, but when you boil it down, it's clear the aging QB needs more help to succeed after the Pats were exposed this past season.