Much has been made about Bucs quarterback Tom Brady’s departure from New England after 20 years and six Super Bowls with the Patriots, but there really appears to be no bad blood between he and his former team. In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Patriots owner Robert Kraft was vocal about his appreciation for Brady and happy to see the 21-year veteran finding success in Tampa Bay.
“Well, I was really happy for him,” Kraft said. “He’s a great guy and he gave us 20 wonderful years, and he made the choice to do what he wanted to do. Look, I wasn’t that happy to see him leave, but we gave him that opportunity to do it. And I want to say if we’re not going to win, and someone’s got to do it, I’m happy for him. He deserves it.”
Kraft then laughed, and said, “I’m not normally that polite.”
Brady, 43, recently signed a one-year extension with the Bucs that will keep him in Tampa Bay through the 2022 season. He’ll pursue Super Bowl victory No. 8 and Super Bowl appearance No. 11 this season, fresh on the heels of a remarkable 4,600-yard, 40-touchdown season with the Bucs. It marked the fifth-most yards Brady has ever thrown for in a season, and the second-most touchdowns.
As for the Patriots, they floundered to 7-9 with Cam Newton at quarterback, although much of their struggles were due to a poor roster and the quarterback’s struggle to stay healthy. A spending spree in free agency has increased the amount of talent around Newton for the 2021 season, but the Patriots will still be underdogs to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East.
The Bucs and Patriots will meet this upcoming season, as Brady seeks to become the fourth quarterback in NFL history to defeat all 32 teams.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft