Brady Leaves as Many Others Have

Brady Leaves as Many Others Have

See All News


Tom Brady announced that he would be leaving the New England Patriots today after a historic and storied career. There is no doubt he will one day be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His 20 years with New England outlasted many of his future quarterback Gold Jacket teammates. Dan Marino played 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Bart Starr played 14 seasons with Green Bay, Bob Griese 13 seasons with the Miami Dolphins and Jim Kelly played 11 years with the Buffalo Bills. These are the only three that did not leave for another team. After his playing career was over, Starr continued with the Packers for nine years as the General Manager/Head Coach.

The list of those Gold Jacket quarterbacks that left their original teams is led by Johnny Unitas’ (17 years with the Baltimore Colts), Brett Favre (16 seasons with the Green Bay Packers), Peyton Manning (14 seasons with Indianapolis Colts), Joe Montana (14 with the San Francisco 49ers) and  Joe Namath (12 seasons with the New York Jets). Fran Tarkenton play 11 non consecutive seasons for the Minnesota Vikings with a four year stint with the New York Giants in between. Warren Moon was the most traveled of the group, playing for four NFL teams (Oilers, Vikings, Seahawks, Chiefs) and five years with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos.

The results of those that left are mixed. Johnny Unitas played one season for the 5-9 San Diego Chargers and then retired. Joe Namath played only 4 games in 1977 for the Los Angeles Rams, and retired. Brett Favre took the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. Joe Montana led the Chiefs to their first division title in 22 years in 1993 and took them all the way to the AFC Championship Game. He came back in 1994 leading the Chiefs to the wild card playoff game, losing to Dan Marino and the Dolphins.

Montana is credited with bringing back the fans and enthusiasm for the “Kingdom” that led to a new consecutive sellout record. Warren Moon played seven seasons with 3 teams after leaving the Oilers before retiring at age 44. His outstanding body of work paved the way to Canton.

Today, Tom Brady stands as a free agent entering the 2020 season as a 43-year-old. If history is any indication, those quarterbacks who left their teams after almost two decades, Brett Favre and Joe Montana, led their teams to the NFL conference championship game, at ages 40 and 37 respectively.

Brady has physically maintained himself and now the challenge is to find a team that has championship caliber talent that suits what he is used to with the Patriots. Following that journey as America enters its coronavirus shutdown period gives us all much to follow and enjoy. He is the man in the arena.

Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Back to news