BOSTON (CBS) — After a two decade run of dominance, the New England Patriots and Tom Brady may be parting ways this offseason. No one knows what will happen with the 42-year-old quarterback and the franchise he’s led to six Super Bowl titles, but there’s a real possibility that the marriage comes to an end this winter.
And despite all the success the two sides have enjoyed together, there may be motivated for Brady and head coach Bill Belichick to go their separate ways. That is according to Drew Bledsoe, who knows a thing or two about the Patriots moving on from a quarterback.
Bledsoe, who was famously replaced by Brady during the 2001 season and then traded to the Buffalo Bills that following offseason, discussed the Brady-Belichick dynamic with CBS Sports Radio’s “The Zach Gelb Show” on Monday. The Patriots Hall of Famer said the quarterback and head coach may part ways this offseason, so they can finally figure out who was behind all the success in New England.
“I know Robert Kraft is on the record saying he hopes that Tommy is back in New England. It would be pretty strange, but it would also be a pretty interesting story to see what Tommy can do elsewhere and see what Belichick can do without Tommy pulling the trigger for him,” said Bledsoe.
“It’s well known that it’s not rainbows and unicorns when you play with Belichick. It’s very business-like. But they both have huge respect for each other and work extremely hard at their craft. It’s been a great relationship with the two of them but I do think there is some intrigue probably on both sides of that thing to see if they can do it without the other guy,” he continued. “For Tommy to see if he can win without Bill and for Bill to see if he can win without Tommy. I think there is probably some intrigue on both sides of that thing to see where the credit really lies in that situation.”
Bledsoe has no idea what will actually happen with Brady and the Patriots, but said the Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts could be enticing landing spots for Brady should he leave New England. Both have established offenses and Brady wouldn’t be joining a rebuilding team.
And while changing teams at 42 isn’t an ideal situation for Brady, Bledsoe said it may be a refreshing change for the QB, much like he had when he went to Buffalo in 2002.
“The biggest thing in that change, and this is where it might be kind of intriguing for Tommy, is all of a sudden you feel like a rookie again. You’re in a brand new organization, new situation, new coach, new teammates, and it was kind of inspiring to take on a new challenge in Buffalo,” said Bledsoe. “Who knows, it may be intriguing to him. Different organizations do it different ways, but it may be interesting for him to take on a new challenge.”
If the Brady era ends in New England this winter, does that mean the end of New England’s dynastic run? Bledsoe doesn’t think so, not if Belichick is still in charge.
“It seems like that has been a story for about a decade now, and they seem to bounce back every year. It’s amazing the standing they set; they finished 12-4 and, granted, they went out in the first round, but 12-4 is a pretty darn successful season for anybody else. I’m pretty sure the Cleveland Browns would have taken 12-4 even with a first-round exit. So they’ve set a pretty high bar of success,” said Bledsoe. “I certainly wouldn’t bet against them going into next season, for sure.”