Joe Namath is so associated with the New York Jets that most fans under the age of 45 probably don’t know that he ended his career in 1977 with the Los Angeles Rams. Namath looks back on his forgettable final season with regret, and he urges Tom Brady not to follow in his footsteps.
Namath told ESPN that he thinks if Brady leaves the Patriots he’ll have similar regrets.
“I wish I knew what I learned in making that transition before making it, meaning it turned out to be a very difficult transition,” Namath said.
Namath was the Rams’ starting quarterback for the first four games of the 1977 season, but he was benched after a four-interception game in Week Four and never played again. Namath said it would be awful to see Brady go down the same path.
“It’s almost beyond my belief that he would go to another team under any circumstances,” Namath said. “I can’t imagine that separation. Moving out of the New England area that he’s been so accustomed to, and his family, that’s a hard thing, too. I don’t think he’ll ever leave that totally behind, I really don’t. I want to see him play as long as he physically and mentally wants to, man, because we’ve all seen over the years the execution that has been superb more times than not. We don’t get to see that kind of player, that kind of character, very often. It’s very rare.”
And it’s even rarer to see a great player play his entire career with one team. Namath didn’t, but he hopes Brady will.