Last week’s abrupt trade of Patriots guard Logan Mankins served as a reminder that there are few, if any, sacred cows in New England.
When it comes to quarterback Tom Brady, there’s a chance the team will want to move on from Brady before Brady wants to move on from the team. Brady made that crystal clear during his weekly appearance on WEEI in Boston.
“There’s nowhere I’d rather play, I know that,” Brady said, via CSNNE.com. “I love playing for this team and I love representing this team. Hopefully I can do that for as long as I can. When I suck, I’ll retire. I don’t plan on sucking for a long time. Hopefully that leads me to be in here, and there’s no place I’d rather be. I love this game and I love working hard at it.
“I’ve had a lot of people over the years tell me the things I couldn’t do, and I think that’s always been great motivation for me to go out there and accomplish things that I think I can do. Hopefully it’s to continue to play at a high level for a really long period of time.”
If/when the people who think he can’t play at a high level are named “Belichick” or “Kraft,” then Brady will have to prove those people wrong by playing for another team. To do that, Brady would have to be willing to embrace, or at least to tolerate, the media crush that will happen if/when Brady were to sign with another team.
Some who know Brady think he’d be tempted to retire in lieu of playing for another team. His comments from Tuesday suggest otherwise.
“I like working hard at it,” Brady said. “I’m going to try to be the best I can be for as long as I can do that. Hopefully the team values that. If they don’t, then I’ll probably have a tough day at some point. That’s what football’s all about.”
Which means that, if/when the Patriots decide to move on from Brady, Brady will be inclined to move on to another team. The destination will depend on who needs a quarterback at the time — up to and including the 49ers, the team Brady cheered for as a boy and the team that “evaluated” Peyton Manning despite having Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick under contract.