Legendary quarterback Joe Montana believes the New England Patriots made a big mistake in letting fellow legend Tom Brady go.
Brady, now 42 and a free agent for the first time in 20 years, has swapped the Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That he had signed a two-year deal with the Florida team was announced last week. It followed confirmation that Brady and the Patriots management had been unable to come to the terms on a new contract.
Almost from the time he was a Patriots’ draft pick in 2000, Brady has been New England’s kingpin.
In a spectacular run of victories he has taken them to nine Super Bowls and won a record six. In the process he has also won a string of MVPs and set scores of records
Montana as famous as Brady
Montana is a 62-year-old four-time Super Bowl winner himself and a Hall of Famer. During his 14 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers he was every bit the US household name Brady is today.
He’s been where Brady’s been. He understands his situation better than most and he cannot understand how the Patriots let him go.
“I don’t know what’s going on inside there, but somebody made a mistake,” Montana told USA Today Sports his week.
“I think when you look at the whole situation you try to figure out why you would want to get away from things that are there.
“I heard a different story; where they had made the decision. I still don’t understand how New England let him get away. I don’t understand that.”
Brady wants control
Questioned further, Montana continued: “It’s not about appreciation. He wants control. I mean, he wants a lot of control.
“You can try to get what you can and do what you want, but in the end you are still just a player. You’re still not in the hierarchy when it comes to hiring people, firing people and all that.
For the first time in years Brady and the Patriots failed to get past Wildcard Weekend last season
And there were strong rumors that Brady blamed his offensive for their 13-20 Wildcard loss to the underdog Tennessee Titans. It was suggested he was unhappy the Patriots had not bolstered his offence as requested.
Referring to this, Montana said, “I don’t know exactly what he’s looking for but my understanding was that he’s just looking for more control of the offense. But I don’t know.
“I haven’t had a long conversation with him; I talked to him a little bit at the Super Bowl, but not really in-depth.”
NJ sportsbooks thinking like Montana
The New Jersey sports betting industry seems to feel the same way as Montana.
The Patriots, so often in recent years their favorites to win the Super Bowl, are nowhere in sight right now. Most New Jersey Sportsbook have dropped them down into 5th place in their futures betting on Super Bowl LV.
The favorites are reigning champions Kansas City Chiefs at around +550. They are followed by the Baltimore Ravens at +750 and San Francisco 49ers +900 and New Orleans Saints at +1100.
The Patriots come next – but they are not alone. At +1600 they are tied for 5th with none other than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) March 24, 2020