Joe Montana on Tom Brady's exit from Patriots: 'Somebody made a mistake'

Jack Baer
Writer

After two decades with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady is a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Plenty of people have takes on how that came about, but one person whose view is definitely relevant is Joe Montana.

The San Francisco 49ers legend and Kansas City Chiefs contributor aired out his thoughts to USA Today’s Jarrett Bell, and he did not think highly of how the Patriots handled the situation.

Joe Montana has thoughts on Tom Brady's move to the Patriots. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Joe Montana thinks Tom Brady wanted more weapons

Simply put, Montana thinks Brady’s exit was caused by a mistake on the Patriots’ part:

“I don’t know what’s going on inside there, but somebody made a mistake,” Montana told USA TODAY Sports, pondering Brady’s huge free agent move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Montana added that he doesn’t think Brady’s exit is comparable to the end of his Niners career, mainly because who was pulling the trigger.

While Montana’s move to Kansas City came after a severe elbow injury that led to the Niners finding another quarterback in Steve Young, it was Brady who decided to leave. Montana was traded and Brady left in free agency, and Montana isn’t sure why the Patriots didn’t fight harder to prevent that.

“I think when you look at the whole situation, you try to figure out how you want to get away from things that are there,” Montana, 63, said from his Northern California home during a phone interview. “I had a different story, where they had made a decision. He, obviously, they never would have gotten rid of. I still don’t understand how New England let him get away. I don’t understand that.”

Montana later added that he thought Brady wanted more weapons, which the Bucs definitely give him with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard. The Patriots saw heavy turnover in what was supposed to be a strong group of receivers, and next year’s group doesn’t look much more promising.

Montana doesn’t think that means Brady will be more successful in Tampa Bay, though:

“What he wants is a bit more weapons,” Montana said, mindful that the Bucs are loaded with arguably the NFL’s best tandem of wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. “But more weapons doesn’t always mean you’re going to continue to win. There were times we had a lot of weapons later in my career, but we had up and down years; Steve (Young) had up and down years with the same group. That’s not always the case that happens with it.

“I mean, you can go back at look at the Super Bowls that (the Patriots) won. They won a lot of close ones, but it’s still about the people, how they fit into that offensive system, how they’re doing in understanding each other. You go back and people probably can’t even remember my first two groups of receivers in those first two Super Bowls, other than Dwight (Clark).

"Sometimes you’ve got to be careful of what you wish for. Sometimes you get it and it becomes a little more pressure if they don’t perform. Those guys have put up some big numbers, but in a different style of offense. It’ll be interesting to see what they mix in with what they did in New England with what they’re going to do and continue to use and had success with in Tampa.”

Montana was also skeptical of the narrative that Brady left because of a personality clash with Bill Belichick, leading him to the team led by the affable Bruce Arians. Rather, he believed Brady wanted more control of the offense.

We’ll see if that comes to pass. Arians’ offensive system is well known for requiring deep balls and waiting for plays to develop, which somewhat clashes with Brady’s skill-set. Either way, Montana and plenty of other people will be watching.

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