Tuesday, March 21 2023

Tom Brady‘s career is over. The greatest quarterback in history retired on Wednesday — again. He made his announcement in a social media video from a beautiful beach somewhere. He neither referenced the Patriots nor the Buccaneers, but instead addressed an all-encompassing “you guys.”

“I’m retiring for good,” Brady said before getting choked up. “Thank you guys so much — to every single one of you — for supporting me. My family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors. I could go on forever. There’s too many. Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love you all.”

Brady won seven Super Bowls, six with the Patriots and one with the Buccaneers. His legacy with New England may have been briefly complicated, but at this point there’s no haziness or uncertainty. Back in Brady’s first training camp in 2000, the quarterback famously told owner Robert Kraft: “I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.”

Yup, that just about sums it up, doesn’t it?


It was a better decision than even hiring Bill Belichick.

But the beauty of the situation is that one thing doesn’t happen without the other. Drafting Brady was Belichick’s decision. And Brady doesn’t become Brady without Belichick developing him and having the guts to start the once-fourth-string quarterback. It’s an egg-chicken-chicken-egg conundrum, and I don’t really want to chase my tail for the next 1,000 words about which man is Greater.

I just want to say, without question, that Brady’s legacy with the Patriots is no longer complicated: absence made New England’s heart grow fonder. 

Brady was the best thing that ever happened to the franchise. It’s simple.

There were so many reasons to think that Belichick would roll to another Super Bowl without Brady. There were so many reasons to think that Brady wouldn’t win another without Belichick. It seems silly now, of course. Because Brady has his Bucs title, and Belichick just missed the playoffs. But think back to Brady’s departure — there was doubt about what he could achieve when he defected for Tampa, particularly at 43 years old.

At the time, the breakup seemed unwise — like Belichick was ditching Brady at a point in the QB’s career when he was on the verge of decline. (That’s what has happened to so many Patriots whom Belichick has ushered out the door.) 

For the sporting world, it was fascinating: a chance for the quarterback and the coach to untangle their legacies — at least slightly. 

For New England, there was a general sadness and, in some cases, anger.

Why would he leave? How could he?

Over the past three years, Brady has achieved success at a level that Belichick has not. Brady untangled his legacy from Belichick, slightly. And in that sense, the QB has simplified his legacy in New England. If Brady had stunk, it might have made things messy. But he was mostly brilliant, only building his living legend.

With Brady, the Patriots were perennial contenders. Without Brady, the Patriots have not been the same. 

I repeat: Drafting Tom Brady was the best decision that New England ever made — that Belichick ever made.

When we look back at Brady’s career, we won’t think about the breakup in odd or awkward terms. We’ll think about what it propelled Brady to do — win another Super Bowl and solidify the argument around his greatness. The Patriots (and Buccaneers) quarterback elevated his legacy to new heights.

Brady is a part of Boston. He’s embedded in the sporting history of the city. He is beloved — and something tells me he’ll someday soon have a homecoming of a true champion in New England. His three years with the Buccaneers only cemented his status as the NFL’s greatest player. 

But even after those three years, Brady is Patriot. He always was. He always will be.

Prior to joining FOX Sports as the AFC East reporter, Henry McKenna spent seven years covering the Patriots for USA TODAY Sports Media Group and Boston Globe Media. Follow him on Twitter at @McKennAnalysis.

Top stories from FOX Sports:

FOLLOW Follow your favorites to personalize your FOX Sports experience

Tom Brady

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more

in this topic

Source: FOX Sports


Chicago’s Latest Lonzo Ball Injury Update Is Not The News That Fans Or Himself Wanted To Hear


Wizards vs. Pistons odds, line: 2023 NBA picks, Feb. 1 predictions from proven computer model

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

On this day: Bob Cousy goes for 50, Vitaly Potapenko, Norman Cook born

On this day in Boston Celtics history, the franchise won their first-ever playoff series against the (then) Syracuse Nationals (now, Philadelphia 76ers) in 1953 at home behind a 50-point eruption from legendary Boston point guard Bob Cousy in a 111-105, four-overtime affair. The win was a most spectacular one, coming in a four-overtime victory over […]

Read More

CBS March Madness Bracket, Predictions, and Expert Picks

The CBS staff has released an interesting March Madness bracket, made predictions, and provided expert picks for the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Sports columnist Gary Parrish believes the National Championship will come down to No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 1 Houston at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. BetOnline odds and picks are featured below. The Best […]

Read More

Max Scherzer loves pitch clock, which debuts to mixed reactions

New York Mets right-hander Max Scherzer described pitching under Major League Baseball’s new rules as a “cat-and-mouse” game. Contrary to previous years, Scherzer feels the pitcher finally has control of the tempo because of the new pitch clock. In his first start of the Grapefruit League schedule, Scherzer allowed a run in the second inning […]

Read More