There was a limit to what Bill Belichick was going to pay Tom Brady to stay with the Patriots, according to Charlie Weis.
Brady joined the Buccaneers in free agency and Weis believes the superior supporting cast on offer in Florida was another key driver in the quarterback’s decision to leave New England. Weis was Offensive Coordinator with the Patriots for the first three Super Bowls won by Belichick and Brady.
While the head coach and QB are not “beer buddies,” he insists there is a significant level of respect between them.
“Really at the end, it comes right down to that Bill felt there was only so much money they were going to pay for Tommy and Tommy looked at it and said, ‘Really, I’ve had enough of this shtick,'” Weis told ESPN on WEEI. “He’s still got plenty of gas left in the tank, but I think he got to the point where you look at these other places you talk about, you look at the Buccaneers, you look at the Chargers. You look at some of these places and say, ‘Were they better options for him with the abilities of the players around him?’ The answer was, emphatically, yes. Both Tommy and Bill have a great respect for each other but they are not beer buddies. They are not going to go out, sit down and go out socially. It wasn’t about that. Relationships are irrelevant. It’s not a business where you are worrying about whether people like you or not. It’s all about respect and there definitely was mutual respect.”
Despite understanding the reasons behind Brady’s move to the Bucs, Weis was still taken aback when the news emerged.
“I was surprised — as a matter of fact, my comment at the time was that I was a little stunned,” Weis added. “Even though the further it went on, the more likely it was, I had a tough time imagining that was the way it was going to end.”
While more than five months remain before the new NFL season, the Patriots appear ready to give second-year pro Jarrett Stidham the chance to succeed Brady, who is the latest in a long line of star veterans Belichick has allowed to leave.
“That is the way the building works,” said Weis. “They never are afraid to let somebody go, even if they’ve still got gas left in their tank, because it’s all about business. For people who want to make it personal and want to talk about egos and all that, do those things come into play? Yes, they do. But really, from Bill’s standpoint, it’s all about business.”