Why Did Tom Brady Leave the Patriots? 6 Actual Reasons

John Rizzo

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Tom Brady Leave the Patriots

Tom Brady’s departure from the New England Patriots in March 2020 marked the end of a historic era in the NFL.

After two decades of unprecedented success, including six Super Bowl victories, Brady’s decision to leave his longtime team raised eyebrows and sparked widespread speculation.

The quarterback’s departure was influenced by a combination of contract negotiations, a desire for new challenges, potential tensions within the Patriots organization, and personal considerations.

This move led him to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, setting the stage for a remarkable journey that eventually culminated in victory at Super Bowl LV in his inaugural season with the new team.

Why Did Tom Brady Leave the Patriots?

Tom Brady left the New England Patriots in March 2020. The decision to leave the Patriots was significant in NFL history and marked the end of a legendary era. 

There were several factors that contributed to Brady’s departure from the team with which he had spent his entire 20-year career.

Here are the actual reasons why Tom Brady left the Patriots:

1. Contract Issues

One of the primary factors was reported to be contract-related. Despite his numerous accomplishments and contributions to the Patriots’ success, Brady sought a contract extension that would provide him with the financial security and recognition he believed he deserved. 

The negotiations between Brady and the Patriots reportedly reached an impasse, leading to a decision to explore other options.

2. Desire for a New Challenge

Desire for a New Challenge

After spending two decades with the Patriots and achieving unprecedented success, including six Super Bowl victories, Brady may have desired a new challenge. 

Athletes often seek new environments and challenges to push their limits and continue their personal and professional growth.

3. Offensive Surroundings

Brady played with a changing roster and a shifting offensive lineup throughout his later years with the Patriots. 

The lack of consistent offensive weapons in his last few seasons may have influenced his decision to explore other opportunities. 

Joining a new team might have allowed him to work with different offensive talents.

4. Relationship with the Patriots Organization

While Brady and the Patriots enjoyed immense success together, any long-term partnership can face strains. 

There were rumors of tensions between Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, though the exact nature of these tensions remained largely speculative. 

Differences in opinion regarding the team’s future direction and personnel decisions may have influenced Brady’s choice to leave.

5. Personal Factors

Brady’s personal life, including family considerations, may also have influenced his decision. 

In 2020, he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which allowed him to relocate his family to a new environment.

6. The Attraction of Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers presented an appealing opportunity for Brady. They had a talented roster, including offensive weapons like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and a head coach in Bruce Arians known for his offensive expertise. 

The prospect of building something new and contributing to a team’s success may have influenced Brady’s decision to join the Buccaneers.

When Did Tom Brady Join the Patriots?

When Did Tom Brady Join the Patriots?

Tom Brady joined the New England Patriots in 2000. He was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, being the 199th overall pick. 

At that time, Brady was not considered a high-profile prospect, and his selection in the later draft rounds made him one of the biggest steals in NFL history.

Brady’s journey with the Patriots began under head coach Bill Belichick, and he initially served as a backup to starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

However, during the 2001 season, Brady got the opportunity to start when Bledsoe suffered an injury. 

This proved to be a turning point in Brady’s career, as he led the Patriots to an unexpected Super Bowl victory against the St. Louis Rams, earning Super Bowl MVP honors.

From that point onward, Tom Brady established himself as the Patriots’ starting quarterback and became a central figure in the team’s unprecedented success over the next two decades. 

His leadership, skill, and work ethic played a pivotal role in the Patriots’ dynasty, which included multiple Super Bowl victories and numerous accolades for Brady, including Super Bowl MVP awards, Pro Bowl selections, and league MVP honors.

What Did the Patriots Get for Trading Tom Brady?

Tom Brady left the New England Patriots in March 2020 as a free agent, not through a trade. 

After spending 20 seasons with the Patriots, he signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Therefore, the Patriots did not receive any compensation from players, draft picks, or other assets in exchange for Tom Brady.

Brady’s departure marked the end of an era for the Patriots, and his move to the Buccaneers garnered significant attention. 

It was a rare occurrence for a quarterback of Brady’s caliber, who had spent his entire career with one team, to change teams in free agency. 

His decision to join the Buccaneers ultimately proved successful, as he led them to victory in Super Bowl LV in the 2020 season.

Patriots Record Since Brady Left

Patriots Record Since Brady Left

The departure of Tom Brady from the New England Patriots in 2020 marked the end of an era characterized by unparalleled success and numerous championships. 

Since Brady’s departure, the Patriots have transitioned, grappling with the challenge of rebuilding and adjusting to a new quarterback. 

This essay examines the Patriots’ performance in the post-Brady era, analyzing their records, key events, and the broader implications for the franchise.

Table of New England Patriots Regular Season Records Since 2019:

SeasonHead CoachStarting QuarterbackRegular Season RecordPlayoff Result
2020Bill BelichickCam Newton/J. Stidham7-9Did not make the playoffs
2021Bill BelichickMac Jones10-7Lost in Wild Card Round
2022Bill BelichickMac Jones8-10Did not make the playoffs
2023*Bill BelichickMac Jones1-4 (current)(To be updated)

Note: The 2023 season information is ongoing, and the table will be updated as the season progresses.


2020 Season

  • The Patriots experienced their first losing season since 2000.
  • Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham shared quarterback duties.
  • Several key players opted out due to the pandemic, impacting the team’s performance.

2021 Season

  • The team improved to a 10-7 record and secured a playoff spot.
  • Mac Jones, a rookie quarterback, took over as the starter.
  • Notable free-agent signings strengthened the roster, but a disappointing playoff exit against the Bills occurred.

2022 Season

  • The Patriots regressed to an 8-10 record, missing the playoffs.
  • Injuries, COVID-19 challenges, and a tough schedule contributed to their struggles.

2023 Season (Current)

  • The Patriots have started the season with a 1-4 record.
  • Key injuries and challenges in execution have hampered their performance.
  • The team faces a daunting schedule in the coming weeks.

Why Did Brady Leave the Buccaneers?

Tom Brady left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2022-2023 NFL season for the following reasons:

Desire to Retire and Spend More Time with Family

Brady expressed a strong desire to retire from football and prioritize spending more quality time with his family, particularly his wife, Gisele B√ľndchen, and their three children.

After an illustrious career spanning over two decades, he sought a new chapter focused on personal and family priorities.

Achievement of Career Goals

Having achieved unprecedented success in his career, including winning seven Super Bowls, five Super Bowl MVPs, and three NFL MVPs, Brady felt that he had accomplished everything he set out to achieve.

With numerous records under his belt, he believed it was an opportune moment to step away from the game on a high note.

Dissatisfaction with Buccaneers’ Management and Coaching Staff

Brady reportedly became disenchanted with the Buccaneers’ management and coaching staff. 

He felt that his contributions to the team were not fully appreciated, and there was a disconnect regarding their support for his vision for the team. 

This perceived lack of alignment in goals and strategies may have influenced his decision to part ways with the organization.

Frustration with Team Roster Dynamics

Brady expressed frustration with the talent and chemistry on the Buccaneers’ roster. He believed that the competitiveness and professionalism did not match his standards. 

The desire for a team that could better complement his approach to the game and enhance his chances of success may have influenced his decision to leave.

Discontent with the State of the NFL

Brady voiced dissatisfaction with what he perceived as the changing culture of the NFL. He felt the league had become too soft and overly politicized and that it no longer fully respected the traditional values and traditions of the game. 

This broader disillusionment with the direction of the league may have contributed to his decision to step away.


Why did Tom Brady leave the New England Patriots?

Tom Brady left the Patriots after the 2019 NFL season primarily due to a desire for a new challenge and a change in scenery. 

After two decades with the Patriots, he sought a fresh start in his football career.

Were contract negotiations a factor in Brady’s departure from the Patriots?

Contract negotiations played a role in Brady’s decision to leave. Reports suggested that he and the Patriots couldn’t agree on a contract extension, leading to Brady exploring opportunities with other teams.

Did dissatisfaction with the Patriots’ roster contribute to Brady’s departure?

Yes, dissatisfaction with the Patriots’ offensive weapons was a factor. Brady reportedly felt the team’s roster lacked the necessary talent to compete at a championship level, influencing his decision to explore other options.

Was Brady’s departure from the Patriots influenced by issues with the coaching staff?

While not explicitly stated, there were reports of some friction between Brady and the Patriots coaching staff, including differences in offensive philosophy. These factors may have contributed to his decision to leave.

Did Brady leave the Patriots solely for football reasons, or were personal factors involved?

Both football and personal factors played a role in Brady’s departure. While he sought a team with better offensive weapons and a competitive roster, he also desired a change for personal growth and to prove himself in a different football environment.

Wrap Up

In departing from the New England Patriots after the 2019 season, Tom Brady sought a new challenge and a change in the football environment. 

Contract negotiations, dissatisfaction with the team’s roster, and reported friction with the coaching staff also factored into his decision. 

Brady’s departure was not solely driven by football reasons; personal growth and a desire to prove himself outside the Patriots’ system played a pivotal role. 

Ultimately, Brady’s move marked the end of an extraordinary era and set the stage for a new chapter in his storied career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he continued to showcase his enduring excellence.

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John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn