When Tom Brady joined the New England Patriots at the turn of the new millennium, it quickly became apparent that this was a match made in heaven. What would follow would be two decades of unprecedented success and a place in the record books for Brady. That adventure is now officially coming to an end as Brady announced he would be leaving the Patriots for the 2021 NFL season.
Drafting an unfancied quarterback
In what would soon become something of a norm, the Patriots would find a diamond in the rough when it came to Tom Brady. Brady wasn’t an outstanding quarterback in his year of the draft, and he had to wait until the sixth round of the draft before an NFL franchise took a risk on him. Still, in his final two years at Michigan Brady threw for over 2,000 yards in each of them, so the Patriots knew they were getting someone with some talent.
He was behind starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe, and fourth choice as backup, but by the end of Brady’s first season, he was the second choice. Brady’s rookie year would see him play only once in the regular season, but his coaches were impressed by what they saw behind the scenes.
Destined for stardom
As Brady and his family watched the 2000 NFL Draft, they were stunned to see that their loved one wasn’t chosen by a franchise in the second or third round. Brady has gone on the record to say that he was so upset while watching that draft that he had to leave his home for a while because he broke down in tears.
Thankfully his luck changed, and the Patriots went for Brady in the end, and Tom was very grateful. He worried he would have to be an insurance salesman. When he first met his new chairman, Robert Kraft, Brady began to introduce himself before getting cut off. Kraft told Brady he knew exactly who he was talking to, his team’s sixth-round draft pick. Brady confidently told Kraft he was the “best decision this organization has ever made.”
In Brady’s first full season in the NFL, he helped his team get to the Super Bowl, and was even named the Super Bowl MVP at just 24 years old. That set him up to have an amazing career, and 20 years later, Brady has six Super Bowl rings with the Patriots. There hasn’t quite been a quarterback like Brady, not only for his game management but also his longevity at such a high level. His adventure with the Patriots is over, and it will be interesting to see where Brady finds himself playing next.
There are a few things to look out for in the 2021 season. Firstly we will all be very curious to see how Brady copes with organizing an entirely new offense and whether he can bring success to a new franchise. It will also be fascinating to see who Brady is replaced by, and how that new quarterback steps into the shoes of arguably the greatest football player of all time.