Tom Brady Reveals 1 Main Reason Why He Left the Patriots

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady reveals why he left the Patriots in 2020.

Even the best of working relationships don’t last forever, and Tom Brady knew it was time to leave the New England Patriots when he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

Brady said as much in “The Dynasty” documentary series, which will commence via Apple TV+ on Friday. The documentary recounts the Patriots dynasty, largely led by Brady and former Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, and Brady admitted in the documentary why he really needed a change in 2020.

“Me and coach Belichick, we did what we loved and competed for 20 years together. But I wasn’t going to sign another contract [in New England] even if I wanted to play until [I was] 50. Based on how things had gone, I wasn’t going to sign up for more of it,” Brady says in the documentary via Chad Graff’s article in The Athletic on Wednesday.

Things didn’t click for Brady in his final year with the Patriots in 2019, especially due to a lack of wide receiver talent and the retirement of tight end Rob Gronkowski. Brady chose the Buccaneers in free agency because of a strong defense, strong offensive line, and a talented receiving corps with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

Belichick meanwhile couldn’t keep the Patriots afloat after Brady’s exit. New England missed the playoffs in 2020 with Cam Newton at quarterback, lost a Wild Card game with rookie Mac Jones under center in 2021, and things cratered with Jones and Bailey Zappe in 2022 and 2023.

Robert Kraft Makes Telling Admission on Tom Brady-Bill Belichick Relationship

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who didn’t talk much in the documentary, offered one nugget on why Brady was ready to move on from working with Belichick. Kraft said in the documentary, via Graff, that “Tom and I had a number of discussions about how Bill treated him”.

“Tommy is very sensitive. He was always looking for Bill’s approval, almost in a father-son kind of way. And that’s not Bill’s style ever to give that,” Kraft added.

Brady’s father, Tom Brady Sr. said something similar in a January Boston Globe interview.

“Bill is tough,” Brady Sr. told the Globe. “He runs a military system. It’s a different generation.”

2024 Will Look Different for Tom Brady & Bill Belichick

Brady will head to the broadcast booth with FOX in 2024. Meanwhile, Belichick remains without a coaching job after he mutually parted ways with the Patriots after one playoff game since Brady left Foxborough.

“I’m not one to hire, you know, I don’t know the criteria for hiring these guys, for hiring coaches,” Brady said on his “Let’s Go!” podcast during the playoffs. “I have never been a part of it. I mean, I’m surprised that the greatest coach ever doesn’t have a job. Absolutely. But I’m surprised at a lot of things in the NFL. I’m surprised when I was a free agent there was a lot of teams that didn’t want me.”

Brady didn’t have a lot of suitors at age 43 when he left New England. The Los Angeles Chargers were considered a finalist besides the Buccaneers. Other teams such as his hometown San Francisco 49ers didn’t make an offer.