David Ortiz: Tom Brady's legacy won't be impacted by possible exit

Rob Bradford
February 21, 2020 - 1:36 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- If anyone can sympathize with the decision facing Tom Brady it's David Ortiz.

Ortiz lived the life of a longtime New England sports icon, playing into his 40's after spending 14 seasons in front of the Boston sports fans. There was, of course, different stops along the way that the former slugger had a chance to perform in another market in front of an entirely different group of adoring fans.

Now Ortiz is watching his friend's next move like the rest of the sports world.

"I don’t want him to go anywhere. I want him to stay," Ortiz told WEEI.com regarding the Patriots quarterback, the most scrutinized free agent to come along in some time. "That’s my mind. But it’s up to whatever is best for him and his family. It’s not all about what people think. He has a choice what is good for him. It’s not just for people telling him what he has to do."

One point Ortiz is certain of is how a possible exit from New England would impact how Brady is viewed.

"His legacy has already been built. It’s always there," he said. "That’s not the problem. His problem is not going to be legacy. He could go and play somewhere else for the next 10 years when he returns to New England his legacy is going to be there.

"It’s a good thing to do but you also have to look at your options. I hope he stays with the Patriots, but it’s not up to what I say. It’s his decision. Sometimes an offer at home might be a couple of million less than what you could get on the road. It’s up to you whether you think it’s worth it."

Ortiz had the option of becoming a free agent after the 2011 season but chose to accept arbitration, leading to a one-year contract of just more than $14 million.