As infuriated as I actually feel right now because of this, I also can't help but smile, because it really feels like Brady Belichicked, Belichick.
It's really kind of strange when you think about the situation that the Patriots are in right now, after Tom Brady made his announcement that he was headed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and leaving the Patriots after 20 years of being their starting quarterback. While I was reading an article on Bleacher Report by Matt Miller, he reminded me of 2017 just months after the greatest comeback and most epic performance in Super Bowl history, the New England Patriots quarterback room consisted of the 40 year old Tom Brady, the 25-year old Jimmy Garoppolo, and the 24 year old Jacoby Brissett. Fast forward to the 2020 season, and Tom Brady is playing in Tampa Bay, Garoppolo is playing for the 49ers, and Brissette is playing for the Colts. So how did the Patriots go from having three starting quarterbacks to now having to roll the dice with a fourth round draft pick?
One of the biggest problems that Bill Belichick ran into is Tom Brady's wouldn't age. This is a narrative that we've talked about a few times, everything that we know about football, anything that we believe about father time and age in football, Tom Brady ignored it. That left Belichick in a real predicament, he had an ageing quarterback who was still playing at MVP levels in 2017, he had a young quarterback who was about to hit free agency and was going to demanding starting quarterback money, and he hadn't even played more than a game and a half in the NFL, and he had a third quarterback who definitely had starter potential, but there was no way that Belichick could carry three quarterbacks again.
So Belichick traded Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for former first-round draft pick, wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. It wasn't a surprising move considering that a lot of people believed that Jimmy Garoppolo was being groomed to be Tom Brady's eventual replacement.
"We used to call him about once a week back then asking if he'd move one of them," says an NFL executive whose team needed a quarterback. "And we weren't alone, either. - We were calling Bill once a week, I swear to God, trying to get Jimmy," says a current director of player personnel. "You might not remember this, but at the time, no one loved the  quarterback class in the draft, and Garoppolo was set to be a free agent. Common sense says you trade him. And Belichick is the best at this—shipping off guys for draft picks—so we thought it would be an easy trade. -I remember getting down to the wire and telling our QBs coach that we'd just make a run at Jimmy in free agency," says the player personnel director."
The rest is all kind of History, we all know by now that Belichick was ready to move on from Brady and go with Garoppolo as his starting quarterback. The story would have it that Brady went to Robert Kraft and basically used his relationship with the Patriots owner to have Belichick trade away Garoppolo and keep Brady.
You could say that for the most part things worked out, the Patriots went to two straight Super Bowls after Garoppolo was traded, winning one of them against the Los Angeles Rams in 2018. But the Patriots now find themselves in a peculiar situation where they don't have Jimmy Garoppolo or Tom Brady, and according to Miller this story is a lot spicier than we may remember.
“At the time, there was an incredible amount of buzz around the NFL that the 49ers originally asked for Garoppolo, but Belichick instead offered Brady. A Patriots source confirms that's how it went down, and a 49ers source close to John Lynch says the first-time general manager couldn't believe his ears when he heard the counteroffer. - Lynch had the chance to trade for the best quarterback ever to play and bring him back to his hometown? It's the ultimate no-brainer, but it didn't happen.” - Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
"Kraft shut that s--t down fast," says a source close to Belichick. "So, instead, Lynch gets Garoppolo, but Brady, Belichick and Kraft haven't been the same since Tom learned that Bill was ready to get rid of him. And that lit a fire under his ass."
I tread very lightly when I talk about the next part of Miller’s Story because it really is scandalous, and if this isn't true it puts Tom Brady in a bad light. The last thing that I want to do right now because Brady has done so much for the Patriots organization and what has given to the Patriots fan base, I don't want to spread rumours with little truth, but this is too good not to talk about. According to Miller, one of Tom Brady's former teammates believes that Brady had been setting up this breakup ever since he found out that Belichick was trying to trade him over Garoppolo.
"He tore up deals after '17, after '18, and got it so the Patriots couldn't [franchise] tag him. Dude was planning this day all along, I could have predicted in October 2017 that this day was coming."
Again, this is the first I've ever heard of this, this could totally be speculation on the former teammates' part, and Miller sensationalizing the situation, but if there was even a hint of truth to this, it doesn't paint Brady in a good light. Right now a lot of Pat's Nation is upset with Bill Belichick, and believes it's because Belichick never gave Brady the respect that the quarterback felt that he deserved. But, if Brady was actually just bitter about Belichick trying to build for the future and go with the quarterback almost half of his age, if there is any truth to all of this, then Patriot fans should feel a little slighted. It would also frustrate me if this was true, because Brady used his relationship with Kraft to veto the trade, and it basically screwed them a year-and-a-half later.
So now Tom got his big contract, he got the weapons that he's been waiting for, and the Patriots are left without any of the three quarterbacks they had in 2017. Tom Brady is a shrewd football player, and he's obviously a shrewd businessman as well, and as infuriated as I actually feel right now because of this, I also can't help but smile, because it really feels like Brady Belichicked, Belichick.