AceShowbiz - Tom Brady has sparked debate about whether he should return to the New England Patriots. The soon-to-be NFL free agent divided his fans with the possibility of him returning to Bob Kraft's team.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion is set to become a free agent at the end of the current NFL season. It had been widely expected that he'd return to the Patriots as he's been spending 20 years in New England.
During his time in Foxborough, Brady had an incredibly close relationship with Kraft, which stemmed from a conversation they had after he was drafted. The pair's closeness continued beyond Brady leaving the team for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March 2020, with Kraft reportedly texting Brady at that time saying, "Love you more than you know for being so classy in everything you do."
As Brady prepares to potentially become a free agent for only the second time in his career, whispers have started suggesting a return to the Patriots could be on the cards, something NFL expert Bill Simmons believes could happen because of Kraft. Speaking on his podcast, Simmons referenced Brady showing up at Kraft's wedding in New York in October as evidence that their bond is as tight as ever.
"What happened four or five weeks ago? Who showed up at Bob Kraft's party, a Friday night, before a Tampa Bay Bucs game, why would someone do that?" so said Simmons. "Now you start thinking, 'where was I happy? Where do I belong? Who are my people? It's the Patriots fans. What's the best thing for my legacy? Oh, I can just Peter out on this 7-10/8-9 Bucs team. I lose in round 1 and then I go to Fox?' I don't think he wants to go to Fox, I just think he's on the wrong team."
Simmons also discussed Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's deteriorated relationship that caused Brady's departure from the team. Simmons later noted that after Brady's first return to Gillette Stadium with the Buccaneers, the pair apparently set up a private meeting in the away locker room, where they spoke for more than 20 minutes.
Simmons exclaimed that he can't rule out Brady's return for that reason as well. "Belichick and Brady together, this is how it has to end. This is the Shawshank reunion," so the sports expert opined. "This is Dirk Diggler coming back to Jack Horner's house at the end [of the film 'Boogie Knights']. They always come back. I'm just saying, don't rule it out."
While Simmons is rooting for Brady's return to the Pats, sports analyst Jay Williams said he believes Brady should avoid a reunion with his former team, fearing for his health as he plays deep into his forties.
Williams says there's more benefit for Belichick if Brady goes back to the Pats than there's for the 45-year-old footballer. "I'd rather see Tom Brady retire than see him back at the Patriots," he said on KJM. "I don't want to see him get beaten up and taken off the field in a cart. I don't."
"But if you're forcing me to address the question, Bill Belichick will appreciate it more. Tom Brady won a chip without Bill Belichick. Bill Belichick has one playoff win without Tom Brady," Williams continued. "If that led to multiple playoff wins, Bill Belichick would probably have an advantage with Tom Brady returning."
Earlier this week, Brady teased his plan for the upcoming NFL season during his SiriusXM show "Let's Go!" The quarterback was asked by co-host Jim Gray if he would "at least be back" next year before bringing up "the 18-game portion of that win streak." In response, he joked, "That's right, that's right. I'm on borrowed time anyway, so."
Brady, who previously said that he has "zero" regrets about his decision to return to the NFL, later noted that he is focused on the "day-to-day, game-to-game" at the moment. He continued, "I love the sport, so I love the preparation for it. I love seeing us improve and get better. And I think there's definitely things on the practice field that have improved."
In March this year, Brady decided to retire, then unretire, from the NFL. His marriage to Gisele Bundchen subsequently unraveled, allegedly over her disappointment that he decided not to end his athletic career. It's reported that the Brazilian beauty felt "lied to" after Brady announced he'd return to the sport.