Joe Montana's Advice to Tom Brady: Don't Leave Patriots 'If You Don't Have To'
To understand the thought process behind what Tom Brady is dealing with this offseason, it helps to hear from others that were in a similar situation to the New England Patriots' quarterback. This allows us to understand the small details that factor into Brady's decision to stay with the team that drafted him 20 years ago, or to start a new chapter of his career elsewhere in the NFL. So who better to ask than former 49er great and Hall of Fame QB, Joe Montana?
During an on-camera interview that will take place on NFL Network's "Gameday Morning" on Super Bowl Sunday, NFL.com's Michael Silver asked Montana what kind of advice he would give Brady, who is dealing with a situation that is very similar to Montana's back in 1993.
Here is what the four-time Super Bowl champion said when asked about Brady potentially leaving New England:
"Don't -- if you don't have to. It's a process to go through, and it takes time to get used to the team. I was fortunate because (former 49ers quarterbacks coach) Paul Hackett was there running the offense, and so I was pretty familiar with probably three-quarters of the offense going in. And, if they let [Brady] have his own offense (with a new team), yeah, that makes it a little bit easier. But still, the transition of moving ...
"I just can't see how they would let him leave there, myself."
Silver also asked Montana about his late-career transition to the Chiefs and how it impacted him.
"It's not easy to go to another team and get accepted, no matter how much success you've had and how many years you've played," Montana said. "They still want to see you come in and be the same player and be that loyal to them as you were to the other team you just left. So, it's not easy (for) guys looking at that change, especially at the quarterback position."
Montana's words ring true for Brady's situation. Transitioning to a new location, with a wife and kids, and being accepted by a new team are difficult things to do at 42 years old. A new team and their fanbase would likely bring Brady on board in hopes of him being the Brady of-old. However, there was a clear regression by the six-time Super Bowl champion this season, which could cause a bad situation in a new, unfamiliar town.
At his age and with 20 years of NFL experience, the wear and tear on Brady's body is clearly having an impact on his performance. Whichever team potentially took him on would have to account for that, but it wouldn't stop everyone else from treating him as one of QBs in the league, even if he can't play to that standard anymore. The extra expectations, because it is a new fanbase that needs to be convinced, shouldn't be something that Brady wants to dabble with.
All the more reason for Brady to stay with the Patriots.