Tom Brady’s been planning to leave Patriots since Bill Belichick tried to trade him in 2017
Fans around the NFL were shocked to see Tom Brady leave the New England Patriots to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. However, Brady’s departure was a few years in the making. According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, Brady has been planning to leave New England since Bill Belichick tried to trade him in 2017.
At the beginning of the 2017 preseason, the quarterbacks on New England’s roster were Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Jacoby Brissett. But after the team’s preseason finale, the Patriots sent Jacoby Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts in a trade.
Then, ahead of the 2017 trade deadline, the Patriots chose to trade Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers. But before the Garoppolo trade came into fruition, Belichick was attempting to counteroffer San Francisco’s offer for Garoppolo.
Instead of trading Garoppolo, Belichick apparently tried to offer the 49ers Brady and New England would keep Garoppolo. When John Lynch, the GM of the 49ers, received that offer, he was understandably surprised. However, Belichick reluctantly chose to move Garoppolo and keep Brady.
Even though Belichick decided to keep Brady, there was a rift between them behind the scenes. Brady, a fiery-competitor, used that as fuel for him to perform well on the field.
At the same time, Brady continued to sign short-term deals with the Patriots to give himself an opportunity to have an out in case things went awry. After signing a one-year deal before the 2019 season, Brady knew there was a chance he was going to head elsewhere in 2020. Nevertheless, Brady’s journey to the Buccaneers began with a trade that didn’t happen three years ago.