According to a recent comment from Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports, Belichick would “prefer” that Brady returns to the team for the 2020 season. However, if the numbers don’t match up, Belichick could easily say goodbye to his quarterback of the past 20 years.
Patriots May Be Playing Chess With Brady
The report is surprising considering that Belichick and Brady are the most successful head coach-quarterback duo in NFL history. They’ve won six Super Bowls, appeared in nine total Super Bowls and have never had a losing season together.
With that being said, Belichick is also a successful head coach known for moving on from his players before they pass their prime. Brady will be 43 years old this season and is coming off of one of the worst seasons of his career.
While Belichick would certainly love to get one more season out of his veteran quarterback — New England doesn’t have any established backups at the moment — he’s also not willing to place too much value on one player.
It’s worth mentioning that Belichick did go 11-5 with Matt Cassel as his starting quarterback in 2008 when Brady was injured. It’s also worth noting that the team went 3-1 with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett as the starters when Brady was suspended due to the “Deflategate” scandal during the 2016 season.
This is a business. So just as Brady is giving off the notion that he could live without the Patriots, it’s not surprising that Belichick could give off the vibe that the Patriots could move on without Brady.
Drew Bledsoe Says Brady ‘Thrives’ on Belichick’s Coaching Style
Drew Bledsoe — the former Patriots starting quarterback and a guy who knows Belichick and Brady pretty well — stated during a recent interview that he believes his former teammate “thrives” on his former head coach’s coaching style.
“In terms of their relationship, you work with somebody for 18 or 19 years, it’s not always going to be warm and fuzzy, especially when it’s Belichick who’s not warm and fuzzy to begin with, particularly in a work environment,” the former Patriots QB said in a preview for a new E:60 special, per ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. “Is there some tension? I’m certain that there is. But that stress and tension can drive attention to detail, it can drive work ethic… Belichick’s great at creating that discomfort. And to be honest, I think Tommy thrives on it.”
There has never been a head coach and a quarterback who have been together as long as Belichick and Brady. In other words, their relationship obviously works, because it would have ended a long time ago if it didn’t.
Brady obviously has decisions to make entering this offseason. A lot of things will be in play, such as money, length of contract and personnel.
But to jump from one organization to another at the age of 43 will be no easy feat.
As much as he might not want to admit it, Brady’s best bet might be to simply return to New England for another season.