Tom Brady Sr. weighs in on his son’s decision to leave the Patriots

"We weren't sad," Brady Sr. said. "This is his journey."

Tom Brady Sr. looks on during Super Bowl 51 between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.
Tom Brady Sr. during Super Bowl LI. –Elsa / Getty Images

Tom Brady Sr. says the word “divorce” is a bit harsh to describe his son’s recent departure from the Patriots.

“I think it’s just change,” Brady Sr. said on an episode of the “Raising Fame: Sports Edition” podcast with Dell and Sonya Curry. “I don’t know that it’s a divorce. Twenty years together is a long time. I can’t tell you the hundreds of times Tommy has said, ‘Bill [Belichick] is the best coach in football.’ Tommy sings Bill’s praises. Divorce sounds a little bit harsh.”

Instead, Brady Sr. called the split “a separation.”

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“Bill’s got a lot of responsibilities to keep the Patriots on track,” he said. “That is a bigger responsibility than keeping Tommy under the hood. Both of them are mature individuals. I really respect Bill’s decision and respect Tommy’s decision as well. It’s OK to take different paths. You don’t have to stay joined at the hip.”

After the Patriots drafted him 199th overall in 2000, Brady spent 20 seasons in New England and won six Super Bowl titles. Toward the end of his tenure, reports of unrest among Brady, Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft started to emerge.

Upon becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Brady opted to sign elsewhere, striking a two-year, $50 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

For Brady Sr., the change means fewer trips to Boston, though he and his wife Galynn will still return to the city often because one of their daughters resides in Massachusetts. The couple doesn’t plan to move to Florida — they’ve lived in the same San Mateo, Calif. home for 43 years — but they will certainly travel to watch Brady, their youngest of four, play.

“The Patriots were darn good to us and darn good to Tommy,” Brady Sr. said. “Now that he’s moved on, it’s kind of fun. We get to see some different sights of the world. We don’t get down to Florida very often, or down to that area. It’s pretty cool.”

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Brady Sr. said he hasn’t spoken to his son much since the signing was announced, so he doesn’t know if Brady’s wife, Gisele Bündchen, and their two children, 10-year-old Benjamin and seven-year-old Vivian, intend to move to Tampa Bay.

The NFL’s schedule, like those of other sports leagues, is in limbo amid the coronavirus outbreak, so Brady has not yet hit the field with his new wide receives Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. But he’s expressed excitement as well as an eagerness to get up to speed.

Brady Sr. is hopeful the new environment will serve as “a way to reinvigorate things.”

“Twenty years is about four lifetimes in the sports world,” Brady Sr. said. “It’s pretty unusual that people don’t leave one franchise for another. After 20 years, I just kind of sense that this is going to be a new chapter.”

Added Galynn: “We just hope and pray this next chapter of Tommy’s life will be exactly what he’s hoping it to be.”

As for whether Brady still has something to prove?

Brady Sr. noted there’s nothing to prove, but rather, something to accomplish.

“He wants another Super Bowl,” he said.

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