Despite two trips to the Super Bowl, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says the past few seasons haven’t always been the most enjoyable.
“The last couple years, a lot of parts about football weren’t enjoyable when they should have been,” Brady said in the epilogue of “Tom vs. Time,” which dropped Wednesday. “Some of it was my approach, and I think, you know, any time you’re with people for a long period of time, relationships ebb and flow.”
Several reports over the past year have detailed the growing discontent among Brady, coach Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft. The trio reportedly disagrees on several of issues, including the role of Brady’s trainer Alex Guerrero. The Patriots addressed some of the reports in a statement in January, calling the claims “unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated, or flat-out inaccurate.”
“I think people are just looking for something to write, talk about,” Brady said in the “Tom vs. Time” epilogue. “They want to talk about a lot of drama. I’m sure a lot of teams have things like that, but ours is just to the 10th degree. You learn to deal with it better. I just don’t give a f*** about that much anymore, about anything.”
In the fifth episode of “Tom vs. Time,” Brady said public opinion bothered him “a lot more” early on his career. Over the past few years, however, he’s prioritized keeping things in perspective — something he touched on again in the epilogue.
“Like nothing’s that big of a deal to me anymore,” Brady said. “Maybe I’m just caring about things that really matter, like my family, like people’s health, like life and death. To worry about a lot of bulls*** that people may say or think or feel, I really don’t care at all.”
Filmed in August, the epilogue also documents parts of Brady’s trip to Qatar with his family in April. While Brady was traveling, the Patriots were gearing up to begin their voluntary offseason program. Brady skipped OTAs for the first time in eight years and did not participate in any portion of the team’s voluntary workouts.
“When I look at probably the last six months, it’s been the first time where I’ve taken a little break, I think, from what I’ve done and what’s been cyclical and monotonous,” he said. “I just think I needed something different this year. My family needed something different this year. I’ve got to be able to spend enough time with them because I want to.”
Brady and his wife, Gisele Bündchen, have two children, Benny, 8, and Vivian, 5. The 41-year-old also has a son, Jack, 10, with ex-girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan.
“You got to see them grow, you got to see them develop, you got to be there for them,” Brady said of his children. “I think in general, kids want to know you care about them. They need your time and energy. If they’re not to get it from August through January, then they’ve got to get it from February through July. Otherwise, I’m not doing my job as a parent. Being able to be available to them in ways that I never have been is something I’m never going to regret.”
Although he heavily emphasized the importance of spending time with his family, Brady also said he still would like to extend his 19-year career. In his opinion, the last eight years of his career have been better than his first 10.
“I would love to play five more years,” he said, counting out five on his fingers. “It’ll be a challenge for me. I don’t think it’s going to be easy. It’s f****** going to be hard to do. I think it’s going to be very hard to do, but I think I could do it.”
“Once you stop, you’re done,” he continued. “I think I’m not ready to say I’m done because I don’t feel like I am. I still feel like there are things to accomplish. It’d be like getting close to the top of the mountain, and being like, ‘Ah, that’s good. I’m good.’ It’s like, ‘No, you worked really hard to get to this point. Why not finish it off?'”