Tom Brady has struggled so far this season, and it’s led many to question whether he might be nearing the end of his tenure with the Patriots. (And others to decry that notion as really stupid.) The quarterback gave the team a comparative discount in his latest contract, the money New England saved was not exactly reinvested in offensive weapons, and Brady is said to be upset.
Today, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that there’s been tensions between Brady and the Pats’ coaching staff. As CBS Sports transcribed:
"“Several players, coaches and former players have rendered an unsettling picture that all does not look well with Tom Brady and the Patriots and there’s a reason for it,” Mortensen said during Sunday NFL Countdown. “Even though Bill Belichick chuckled when asked Monday night about Brady’s status, others close to the team now believe that when the Patriots used that second-round pick (in 2014) on Jimmy Garropolo that they were, in fact, choosing Brady’s successor, perhaps sooner than later."
"“Sources say Brady is uncomfortable with the personnel and coaching changes, the consequences have led to tensions between Brady and the coaching staff, with Brady’s input into gameplans, personnel packages, formations, pre-snap adjustments being significantly diminished."
Danny Amendola was supposed to replace Wes Welker, but hasn’t really come close to doing so. The team has as of yet been able to replicate Aaron Hernandez’s production, and, as Mort noted, the Patriots have drafted 11 wide receivers since 2002, and only Deion Branch and Julian Edelman ever ended up making much impact. Brady has been able to excel in the past with a lack of weapons, but the cupboard has never seemed as bare as it does this season.
This type of chatter is the byproduct of losing. While there is the chance that we’re seeing the beginning of the end of the Brady era in New England, it’s also possible that the Patriots, who have made a habit of improving as the regular season wears on, snap out of their funk and still win the weak AFC East handily. Either way, tonight’s game versus Cincinnati is intriguing on many levels.