Patriots quarterback Tom Brady received good wishes from many people when he turned 42 years old on August 3, but none came from one of the quarterbacks chasing him in the AFC East.
Sam Darnold was asked to take part in a video with other NFL players wishing Brady happy returns, but he declined to take part in the project. Darnold said that he’ll chat with Brady after games between the two teams, but felt that taking part in a birthday celebration would be giving something he’s unwilling to give to a player who has reached heights that Darnold hopes to reach during his own career.
“That’s just it, man — knowing what I’ve got to do,” Darnold said, via Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. “I’m going to get every competitive edge I can, because he’s going to do the same thing. He’s the ultimate competitor. He’s exactly where I want to be when I’m his age. To chase that, I can’t be giving him anything.”
Whether this qualifies as a competitive edge or not is certainly subject to debate. As with players using musty criticisms from early in their careers as motivational chips, however, Darnold’s belief that it gives him one may be more significant than any conclusion drawn from that debate.