Knowing what we know now about the roster, the New England Patriots’ would have needed to pull off a miracle to make the playoffs last season.
After all, eight players opted out, multiple starters departed in free agency, and new quarterback Cam Newton was coming off major shoulder surgery, didn’t sign until just before the start of training camp, and tested positive for COVID-19 just as he found a groove under center.
As a result, the Patriots finished 7-9 missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Those shortcomings, of course, were amplified by their decision not to renew Tom Brady’s contract, though reports indicate the front office jumped through hoops to try and keep him.
Whatever the case, owner Robert Kraft had always been adamant with his desire to have Brady play his entire career in New England. As we know, the two shared a close relationship, so we could only imagine how difficult it was for them to go their separate ways.
Well, now that we’re a full year removed from Brady’s decision to test free agency, Kraft opened up about the divorce during his latest media session. To avoid spoiling the quote, let’s just say that it might be difficult for fans to decipher the point he was trying to make.
What should Patriots fans make of owner Robert Kraft’s comments about Tom Brady’s departure?
It sounds like Kraft and the Patriots had the requisite finances to appease Brady’s contract demands, but they came up overwhelmingly short with the one thing need to convince him to stick around, and that was a championship-caliber roster.
The last thing we want to do is put words in Kraft’s mouth, but him referencing the Wild Card defeat against Tennessee in 2019 suggests he was aware New England was headed for another first-round playoff exit if Brady signed another contract.
We’re not entirely sure if these comments, especially the peculiar marriage analogy, will put Patriots fans’ minds at ease, but they did a decent enough job as far as highlighting why it was in the best interest of both parties to move on.
The breakup obviously looks a lot worse given that Brady won a championship in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, that doesn’t change the fact that New England’s roster was nowhere ready to compete with some of the league’s juggernauts.
Even if Brady stayed, we’d likely only be looking at a couple more wins, which might not have even been enough to sneak into the playoffs in the loaded AFC. After all, Miami missed out with a 10-6 record and Indianapolis finished 11-5 and qualified by the skin of their teeth.
After six championships and 17 AFC East titles, Kraft and the Patriots, as much as they would have liked to keep Brady, realized they needed to avoid spending big on the QB position since the rest of the roster wasn’t ready to compete, and that’s what fans should take away from Kraft’s comments.