By now, we all know that playing in New England isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Over the past 20 years, players in the league may have to trade in the freedom and relaxed nature that some other NFL clubs have if they want to get on board and join the Patriots, play with Bill Belichick and have a chance to compete for a Super Bol.
For some players, this compromise has worked wonders and has at least one Super Bowl ring to prove it. That said, there is another part of the population of Belichick where it ended up being a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. The adjustment just wasn’t there.
Until this off-season, quarterback Tom Brady was the epitome of The Patriot Way, ready not only to reach deals with the club below the market, but to be treated as the 53rd player on the active list, despite his legendary status. This compromise worked very well for both parties, as the Patriots won six Super Bowl titles and Brady became the best quarterback of all time. Even as Brady went free agency for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bill Belichick said that he was one of “his original creators” and “that he lived and perpetuated our culture”.
That said, The Patriot Way’s relentlessness has seemed to focus on Brady in recent years as reports of a broken relationship between him and Belichick have been in the headlines constantly. With Brady’s decision to go into free agency, many understood, including his former teammate in the corner Asante Samuel, that the quarterback was finally free.
“I’m a little 50-50 on this,” Samuel told TMZ Sports when asked if he was surprised at the end of the relationship between Belichick and Brady. “I was surprised, but again I was not surprised. “
He added, “He probably just had enough. He probably got tired of some things he wanted. Maybe he wanted the receivers and the little bits to stay with them and maybe Bill tried to swap them. Who knows what happened. know, he’s probably tired of that at the end of the day. “
Samuel played five seasons with the Patriots after Belichick drafted him in the fourth round of the 2003 UCF draft. He won two Super Bowls with the club, was a first All-Pro team in his last season with the team in 2007 and was later named to the Patriots’ 2000 team. Despite his personal and team success, Samuel noted that being a patriot is a challenge.
“This is a unique situation,” said Samuel of Belichick. “It worked for me, man. It made me a better man, but it wasn’t something I enjoyed. Everyone wants to do things they enjoy and enjoy it. I think that’s the only thing most people will say. You know, some people might say that you are not here to enjoy the shit. It could be The Patriot Way, but I do it my way. “
It is certainly possible that Brady felt like Samuel towards the end of his mandate in New England and was a determining factor in his decision to become a free agent with Tampa Bay. What will be interesting from now on is whether or not The Patriot Way’s call will stay in Foxborough after Brady’s departure. After all, his presence and the likelihood of reaching the Super Bowl with him under the center was a major selling point for players in the past. Now that he’s gone, we’ll see how solid the Patriot Way foundation is.