Joe Montana: Patriots ‘Made a Mistake’ in Letting Tom Brady Leave

Tom Brady
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No one disagrees with the fact that acquiring Tom Brady was a great move for the Buccaneers. However, there are many who believe it was a mistake for the Patriots to let Brady go.

Hall of Famer and NFL legend Joe Montana is one of them.

“I don’t know what’s going on inside there, but somebody made a mistake,” Montana told USA Today. “I think when you look at the whole situation, you try to figure out how you want to get away from things that are there.

“I had a different story, where they had made a decision. He, obviously, they never would have gotten rid of. I still don’t understand how New England let him get away. I don’t understand that.”

As CBS reports:

Montana was ousted out of San Francisco as an elbow injury allowed Steve Young to take over the reins as the team’s franchise quarterback, with Young winning the 1992 NFL MVP award. San Francisco made Montana the ‘designated starter’ in an attempt to keep him, days after granting him permission to seek a trade.

The 49ers committed to Young as the starter in February of 1993, then rumors spiraled they were actually dangling Young in trade talks in order to keep Montana. Then the franchise decided to allow Montana to move on before neglecting that offer, which is how the “designated starter” tag came into effect. Young also told the 49ers they either start him or trade him.

In the end, Montana went to Kansas City in what was an ugly divorce (the 49ers and Montana eventually made up). Brady’s situation was a little different, but Montana believes he knows what the former Patriots quarterback wanted from New England.

Montana believes that Brady’s desire for control, may have led him to Tampa.

“He wants control. I mean, he wants a lot of control,” Montana said. “I don’t know what Tampa Bay gave him, but at some point in time, you’re just a player. You can try to get what you can and do what you want, but in the end, you’re still not in the hierarchy when it comes to hiring people, firing people and all that.”

While the control that Tampa may or may no have (but probably did) given Brady is no doubt a powerful incentive to leave. The future Hall of Famer’s most powerful motivation likely came from Tampa’s young and explosive receiving corps. Also, in addition to being one of the best offensive minds in the game, Bucs coach Bruce Arians has a relationship with troubled wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Meaning, that should Brown be cleared to return this year, a reunion with Brady and Arians in Florida could be in the offing.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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