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Lawyer Milloy spent seven seasons and appeared in two Super Bowls with the Patriots before Bill Bellichick released him just prior to the 2003 season opener.
Before Tom Brady was considered the next (or even better) Joe Montana, the Patriots were coming off a 9-7 season and no playoffs in 2002 after winning the Super Bowl in 2001. Lawyer Milloy was as big a presence in their clubhouse as Brady back then, and was considered their defensive leader. Milloy had spent his first seven seasons in New England.
On September 2, 2003, Bill Bellichick decided to make a very controversial decision and released Milloy due to his refusal to take a pay cut. Milloy was in the fourth year of a $35 million dollar contract and scheduled to make $4.5 million in 2003.
Since he was only 29 and coming off four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances, Milloy was quickly picked up by the Buffalo Bills, who were scheduled to host the Patriots on September 7. To say this caused an uproar in the Patriots locker room was an understatement. When he heard about the move, Patriots quarterback Brady admitted that he was, "About as surprised as you could possibly be."
"Has it ever been this quiet in here? I don't think it has," linebacker Tedy Bruschi, Milloy's rookie roommate in 1996, said. "I think 'shocked' is the word. ... You sort of just shake your head and ask yourself, 'Why?' "
Playing his worst game as a pro, Brady was intercepted four times, while the Bills dominated the Patriots in just about every aspect of the game. New England recorded just 239 total yards on offense while committing a very un-Bellichick like 12 penalties for 121 yards. Brady summed up the loss: "From the first play on, it was Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo."
Milloy recorded one of the Bills two sacks of Brady.
Well, how did this loss affect the teams for the rest of the season?
The Patriots would go on to win 34 of their next 37 games, which included consecutive Super Bowl titles that season and 2004. The Bills? They went on to a 6-10 season and have not defeated New England in 15 games since, starting with a 31-0 reversal on December 27, 2003 at Foxboro.