The world did not end when Tom Brady left the New England Patriots, so says one of his former teammates.
“When he made a decision, to me it wasn’t like the end of the world,” Patriots safety Devin McCourty told SiriusXM NFL radio on Friday.
Some Patriots fans may have felt differently, seeing their six-time Super Bowl-winner and future Hall of Famer bolt to the Tampa Buccaneers on a two-year, $50 million fully guaranteed contract.
McCourty, 32, said he was too busy deciding his own future to notice.
McCourty ended up signing a two-year, $23 million ($17 million guaranteed) contract with the Pats a week before Brady moved on.
“I honestly didn’t think twice about Tom Brady’s free agency, because I was a free agent,” McCourty said. “That was my main concern, where my family would end up. Would we be back in New England? Then when I signed my deal and I was back, you kind of think of all the guys. Tom, the Kyle Van Noys, the Jaime Collins. All of those guys you had relationships with, Matthew Slater. That you kinda know, man, this could be it. That coulda been the last game I played with these guys. When [Brady] made a decision, to me it wasn’t like the end of the world.”
McCourty added that he was happy for his former teammate with whom he won three Super Bowls.
Brady, who will be 43 years old when he makes his debut with the Buccaneers, has mostly been coy about his decision to leave the Patriots, though reports suggest his relationship with head coach Bill Belichick and the organization became strained following together 20 years.
That almost was the same case for McCourty, who said he also nearly left New England like Brady because he was “ready for a new challenge” following 10 years with the same team.
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