How Tom Brady Leaving the New England Patriots Led to Their Downfall?

Published 10/03/2021, 12:21 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – APRIL 24: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady arrives backstage during the UFC 261 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Tom Brady is a living icon in the NFL. The New England Patriots will always be associated with the legendary quarterback. He was selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Patriots, and he has been their starting quarterback since 2001.

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The quarterback played for the Boston-based franchise for over two decades and had several memorable moments. He played with the Patriots for a while before deciding to quit the team because of disagreements. Ever since he left the Patriots, it is safe to say that they have been on a downward spiral. Here’s decoding why.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – DECEMBER 08: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots talks with Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs after the Chief defeat the Patriots 23-16 at Gillette Stadium on December 08, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

What went wrong with the Patriots?

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The most simple answer to this question is obviously Tom Brady. Brady has been the enigma who has been carrying the Patriots since 2018. Even in his last game, it was evident that reinforcements were needed. It was evident the players, apart from Brady, had to take up responsibility. This didn’t happen, and they suffered due to this in the following season.

Cam Newton as the quarterback replacement of Tom Brady was certainly the wrong choice by the Patriots. There was nothing wrong with taking a chance on the former MVP, but he did not win a starting spot this season, which is particularly important given New England’s desire to return to the playoffs as soon as possible in 2021.

The wide receiver corps was another major source of worry for the New England Patriots. While Julian Edelman’s injury could not have been foreseen, the lack of depth in the secondary was predictable. Throughout the season, Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd showed signs of life but could not capitalize further. Meyers, on the other hand, could not catch a touchdown pass while Byrd is a 27-year-old free agent.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – SEPTEMBER 22: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on prior to the game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Why did Tom Brady leave the New England Patriots?

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For a variety of reasons, the six-time Super Bowl champion left the Patriots following the 2020 season. One example is the salary cap. The club sought to attract talent throughout Brady’s last years. They signed Antonio Brown for one game and traded for Mohamed Sanu to boost the offense. The Patriots were left with little room to negotiate a contract extension with Brady as a result of these agreements.

“That’s what we did the past five years,” Bill Belichick told WEEI in November. “We sold out three Super Bowls and appeared in a fourth, as well as an AFC Championship game. This year, we have less resources to work with. It’s not a justification; it’s simply the reality.”

The roster’s lack of depth was exacerbated by the difficulty to attract players. Outside of veteran Julian Edelman, who was battling with injuries, the Patriots didn’t have many pass-catching alternatives. Thus, the famous collaboration between Tom Brady and the New England Patriots came to an end due to a combination of sports and financial factors.

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Suresh Menon

128 articles

Suresh Menon is a Football and NFL writer at Essentially Sports. He is currently pursuing BMM from St Xaviers College with his specialization in Advertising. Juventus is his favorite football club and he one day plans to go to Italy and watch a Juve match live.

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