Tom Brady Talks Patriots Exit, 'Probably' Knew 2019 Would Be Last Year with NE

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2020

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots in action against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said Wednesday he understood in advance the 2019 NFL season was likely his last stand with the New England Patriots.

"I probably knew before the start of last season it was my last year," Brady said during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show, per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.

The six-time Super Bowl champion also discussed deciding to leave the Pats after 20 years.

"I never cared about legacies. I could give a s--t...that's not me, that's not my personality," Brady said (via Michael Giardi of the NFL Network). "Why did I choose a different place? Because it was just time."

Here's a look at some other key topics Brady discussed on The Howard Stern Show:


Relationship with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

  • "I think he has a lot of loyalty. I think that there were a lot of wrong assumptions made about our relationship," Brady said.
  • He lamented discussion that either Belichick or himself wouldn't be able to succeed without the other, saying, "I think it's a pretty s--tty argument."

Drinking alcohol and smoking weed in high school

  • "In the end, what kept me from smoking a lot of weed and obviously, in high school, you try that and you go to parties and drink. But what kept me from doing that was I always thought I would be letting my dad down," Brady said.
  • He added: "If I woke up the next morning with a hangover, I would always feel guilty about it."

Lessons learned from Kobe Bryant's death

  • "I think if you learned anything from what's going on in this day and age, even as it relates to Kobe Bryant, I mean Kobe thought he had a long life too...he and I had the same mentality...we all think we're going to live forever," Brady said.

On new head coach Bruce Arians

  • "I like him a lot and...me even being a free agent, I learned so much having an opportunity evaluate what was important to me...he's definitely someone that tells you straight, and I appreciate that, too," Brady said.


The three-time NFL MVP told Stern he's uncertain about what will happen with the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic but noted he's willing to play without fans in attendance if necessary.

He also pushed aside suggestions he should retire, stating: "You don't tell a musician to stop singing at 42. You don't tell a great painter to stop painting at 42."