Tom Brady knew he would leave the New England Patriots months before he even hit free agency. When the day finally arrived and the greatest quarterback in NFL history made his departure official, the Patriots knew the one team he didn’t want him to sign with.
Brady hit the open market last spring looking for the right landing spot. Not only did he want to compete for his seventh Super Bowl, the future Hall of Fame quarterback also wanted to find a place where he and his family would be very comfortable.
The Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saint, Los Angeles Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all made efforts to sign the all-time NFL great. As everything unfolded, Bill Belichick and the Patriots were apparently just hoping he didn’t sign with one team.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, New England feared Brady would sign with the Miami Dolphins. While the franchise was coming off a tough season, many believed it was a quarterback away from taking a leap and Miami offered the lifestyle Brady would like.
Ultimately, the Patriots were worried about the wrong team. Even before Brady signed, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross scoffed at NFL rumors suggested his team would land the star quarterback.
Brady did move to Florida, buying into the Buccaneers’ vision. Playing behind one of the NFL’s best offensive lines and with the best defense in the NFL supporting him, the Buccaneers delivered on their greatest hope.
- Tom Brady stats (Week 1-9): 2,398 passing yards, 20-7 TD-INT ratio, 96.2 passer rating, 6.93 ypa
- Tom Brady stats (Week 10-17): 2,235 passing yards, 20-5 TD-INT ratio, 110.0 passer rating, 8.47 ypa
After a poor showing in the NFC Championship Game, throwing three interceptions, Brady rebounded in Super Bowl LV. Thanks to a three-touchdown performance, including two scores with Rob Gronkowski, Brady won his seventh Lombardi Trophy and his fifth Super Bowl MVP.
It’s understandable why the Patriots feared the revenge factor, they would have faced Tom Brady twice last season. But he’ll now arrive at Gillette Stadium in Week 4 for the highly-anticipated matchup with more proof that is the most impactful person in Patriots’ history.