Tom Brady took a calculated risk when he decided to leave the New England Patriots last offseason and take his talents down to Tampa. By separating himself from Bill Belichick, his head coach of two decades and co-mastermind of the greatest dynasty that the sport has ever seen, Brady opened himself up to potentially dent his legacy if things didn't pan out well during this next chapter with the Buccaneers, especially if the status quo remained in Foxborough. However, the opposite has happened.
Brady has completely shifted the culture with the Buccaneers and has them heading to Super Bowl LV after winning three road playoff games, including matchups against Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. For the 10th time in his career, Brady is heading to the big game. Meanwhile, Belichick and the Pats are well into their offseason after a 7-9 campaign, which was the worst mark the franchise has seen since 2000 -- the year before Brady became the starter.
In the aftermath of Sunday's win in Lambeau Field to secure Tampa Bay the NFC title, Brady did get a congratulatory message from Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Speaking to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald on Monday, Tom Brady Sr. noted that gesture shows the relationship between the Kraft family and Brady still remains a special bond.
"Robert's been a spectacular owner for 25 years. He is sincere in his feelings for Tommy when he expresses his feelings, and it's vice versa," the elder Brady told Guregian. "Tommy feels the same way with Robert Kraft. He has an extraordinarily close relationship with him. I know Robert is rooting for Tommy right now. As I know Jonathan, Danny and the whole family. There's no question about that."
Of course, there is one noticeable omission from those remarks: Bill Belichick.
"I'm guessing he's on a little bit of a hot seat right now," Brady Sr. said.
While seeing Brady play for any other club than New England was a bit jarring over the course of the season, this divorce wasn't too much of a shock to Brady Sr., who famously predicted a few years back that the end of his son's tenure with the Patriots wouldn't mirror storybooks.
"Every year teams cut people, and people cut with teams. Guys move," he said. "Quarterbacks move, whether it's Joe Montana or Brett Favre or Peyton Manning or whomever. It didn't take too much of a crystal ball to know that at some point in time, there would be a finality to Tommy's relationship with the Patriots."
"They had a great 20-year run, as good a run as anybody has ever had. Without disparaging Bill in any way, I just think it was time," Brady Sr added. "That doesn't minimize what Bill did. As we saw [on Sunday], the coaches can screw up the game."
While logical minds would tell you that the Patriots needed both Brady and Belichick to have the type of success they did over those 20 years, this run to Super Bowl LV by Brady certainly isn't the best look for Belichick in this tug of war of who deserves the most credit for New England's success. From a job security standpoint, Belichick absolutely isn't on a "hot seat" as Brady Sr. may have suggested. That being said, there's no doubt that Tom is winning the divorce so far, which again doesn't do Belichick and his legacy any favors.