Patriots didn’t believe Tom Brady was going to leave

New England Patriots

Tom Brady’s heart was set on leaving the New England Patriots before his old team even realized it.

After winning six Super Bowl rings and three NFL MVPs in Foxboro, Tom Brady will always be a New England Patriots legend. It is surreal to think Brady will be the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 and beyond, because few could have ever envisioned Brady playing for anyone else except the Patriots – least of all the organization itself.

Appearing on NFL Total Access, Ian Rapoport stated the Patriots were holding out hope Brady would stay with the team. Although they gave the legendary signal-caller a contract preventing him from being tagged or re-signed before the start of free agency, Robert Kraft and Co. never saw a split coming.

In fact, they didn’t even know Brady was officially moving on until he formally announced he would be moving on from the Patriots on Mar. 17.

Per Rapoport, even after a meeting between Brady and Kraft at the owner’s house, the organization still thought they would be able to keep the 14-time Pro Bowler. However, in an interview with Howard Stern, Brady said he knew he would be leaving the Patriots before the 2019 season even started.

Brady spent nearly 20 years with the Patriots, becoming the most beloved athlete in Boston and an NFL icon. He’ll do his best to bounce back after a disappointing 2019 season by leading the Buccaneers to playoff glory, chasing another ring to prove beyond doubt his legacy isn’t reliant on Bill Belichick.

As for the Patriots, there is no time for them to recover from the shock of losing a franchise icon. If Brady saw it coming before the season started, the Pats should have, too, especially by the time March rolled around.

A rebuild with a young quarterback must begin, and Belichick has his own legacy to solidify without the Hall-of-Famer quarterback by his side. It won’t be an easy turnaround, but if Belichick could win with Matt Cassel, he can win with anyone.

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