BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady grew up idolizing Joe Montana. Now as Brady is set to experience free agency for the first time in his Hall of Fame career, he’s getting some advice from the quarterbacking icon.
Montana won four Super Bowls with San Francisco, but ended his career with the Kansas City Chiefs when the 49ers traded him in 1993 and moved on to a younger quarterback in Steve Young. Brady is responsible for the six Super Bowl banners that hang in Gillette Stadium, but there is a real chance that No. 12 will be playing football for a team other than the New England Patriots in 2020.
For now, it remains unclear if Brady wants to stay in New England — or if the Patriots want Brady back — when the quarterback becomes a free agent in March. Brady speculation will fill the airwaves and lead to some interesting headlines for the next seven weeks, but Montana has some advice for the quarterback as he enters some uncharted waters: Don’t leave the Patriots.
“It’s not easy to go to another team and get accepted, no matter how much success you’ve had and how many years you’ve played,” Montana told NFL Network’s Michael Silver in an interview that will air on Super Bowl Sunday. “They still want to see you come in and be the same player and be that loyal to them as you were to the other team you just left. So, it’s not easy (for) guys looking at that change, especially at the quarterback position.
“Don’t [leave] — if you don’t have to,” Montana said with a smirk. “It’s a process to go through, and it takes time to get used to the team. I was fortunate because (former 49ers quarterbacks coach) Paul Hackett was there running the offense, and so I was pretty familiar with probably three-quarters of the offense going in. And, if they let [Brady] have his own offense (with a new team), yeah, that makes it a little bit easier. But still, the transition of moving…”
Like many, Montana has a tough time picturing Brady playing anywhere but New England, and the Patriots employing anyone but Brady at quarterback.
“I just can’t see how they would let him leave there, myself,” said the Hall of Famer.
Brady will officially become a free agent on March 18, when he is free to sign with whichever team he chooses. We’ll see if the QB follows his idol’s advice and stays with the only franchise he’s played for, or if he follows a similar path that Montana took at the end of his career.