Personnel and coaching changes have reportedly led to tension between Tom Brady and New England Patriots staff, and that strain may lead to the three-time Super Bowl champ finishing his career in another jersey, reports ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
"Sources say Brady is uncomfortable with the personnel and coaching changes," said Mortensen, on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown. "The consequences have led to tensions between Brady and the coaching staff, with Brady's input into game plans, personnel packages, formations, pre-snap adjustments being significantly diminished."
The report came in the aftermath of a 41-14 Monday night loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, where Brady completed 14-of-23 passes for 159 yards and two interceptions and was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo in the fourth quarter. Mortensen reports that a move to Garoppolo full-time could happen "sooner than later," but is unlikely to come during the 2014 season.
Brady quelled some of the unrest Sunday night, passing for 292 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots' dominating 43-17 win over the Bengals. Mortensen, however, quotes a source who says "nobody is untouchable."
Brady has stated publicly he wants to play another four or five years, at least. Sources close to the quarterback told ESPN that remains true but acknowledge that his career may end with another franchise unless Patriots owner Robert Kraft intercedes.
New England traded guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason. Brady has been sacked 10 times this season.
The Patriots, now 3-2, travel to Buffalo (3-2) in Week 6.
-- Alex Suskind