Terry Bradshaw: ‘Why the hell’ would Tom Brady want to go to Tampa?

Andy Hart
March 23, 2020 - 9:23 am

Terry Bradshaw has seen a lot over the course five decades in and around the NFL, but that apparently hasn’t really clued in the Steelers great to “what the hell” Tom Brady is doing leaving the Patriots for the Buccaneers.

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The Hall of Fame quarterback knows a little something about leading an NFL dynasty from his time in Pittsburgh and through his decades of work in the media since his career ended has paid attention to all the crazy storylines of players, coaches and teams in professional football.

With all that history and knowledge in his mind, Bradshaw still isn’t quite able to wrap his head around why Brady decided to test free agency waters last week, turning his back on the Patriots after two decades in New England to extend his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Why in the world does he want to keep on playing at 43 other than to prove to New England he’s more important than Bill Belichick?” Bradshaw pondered in an interview with The Athletic (subscription). “That’s the way I would look at it. Why the hell do you want to go to Tampa? The only thing I can think of is ego gets involved and you decide, ‘I’ll show ’em who’s more important.’

“I would never have done that, and I was shocked he was leaving. Shocked. I’ve never known a great quarterback — a great quarterback — at the end of his career, go to another team and do anything. Now, Brady’s different — nine Super Bowls, six victories. He’s a different cat. But the offense they ran in New England was perfect for him.”

While Bradshaw notes that Brady might have something to prove, he also questions how much New England really wanted to keep TB12.

“I don’t know what the hell Tom’s doing. I think Tom, at 43, there has to be something going on for him to want to leave there, right? Gotta be,” Bradshaw said. “He’s got to feel they don’t want him, he’s got to feel unappreciated, got to feel, ‘I got to get out from underneath Belichick.’ He knows they’re saying, ‘Who was more important, the coach or the quarterback?’ Has Robert Kraft come out and said, ‘We want him back, we need him back, he’s our guy?’ Is anyone fighting for him? I haven’t noticed any of that.”

Bradshaw, who retired in his mid-30s due to an elbow injury, also clearly wonders if Brady can keep play at a high level at the age of 43, regardless of his famous diet or workout regimen.

“Now, he’s going to have great players around him offensively in Tampa, and they have a good defense there,” Bradshaw told The Athletic. “And that’s going to help him. They have to protect him because he can’t move.

“He’s going to bring a lot to Tampa, and I can’t say; I don’t have a feel right now if it’s going to be good. Is it going to be great? I don’t know. Part of me says it ain’t going to work. When you’re 43 years old, I don’t care if you eat grass and sand and whatever it is he does, that’s a tough call, man. He’s no Ben Roethlisberger; he can’t stay in and take the hit. He’s a tall guy, but he’s not a strong guy. I don’t know. Do I want him to succeed? Absolutely. He’s 43. I mean, 43? Forty-three? I can’t imagine that — can you?”

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