Joe Montana on Tom Brady's Departure From the Patriots: 'Somebody Made a Mistake'

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Hall-of-Fame quarterback Joe Montana has quickly taken a side in Tom Brady's split from the Patriots, as the former 49ers legend said on Wednesday, "I still don’t understand how New England let him get away."

“I don’t know what’s going on inside there, but somebody made a mistake,” Montana told USA Today's Jarrett Bell. "I still don’t understand how New England let him get away. I don’t understand that.”

Brady announced his decision to leave New England on March 17, three days before the six-time Super Bowl champion signed with Tampa Bay. Brady leaves the Patriots after 20 seasons and 14 Pro Bowls. Brady reached the AFC Championship in 13 of 18 years as New England's starting quarterback.  

Montana shares Brady's experience in leaving his longtime franchise near the end of his career. Montana was traded to the Chiefs in 1993 following 13 seasons and four Super Bowls with the 49ers. He and Brady are one of two quarterbacks to ever win four-plus Super Bowls and multiple MVPs.

Montana went 17–8 in two seasons with Kansas City before retiring after the 1994 season. Brady joins the Patriots after throwing for 4,057 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. 

Analysis from PatriotMaven: With all due respect to Joe Montana, there were many factors that led to the divorce between Tom Brady and the Patriots. It had much to do with the lack of respect Brady felt he was getting, which is why he decided to depart for Tampa Bay. While Montana's opinion is understandable based on his own career trajectory, there's much more than meets the eye with Brady's situation.