Bob Leverone/Associated Press
Appearing on WEEI’s Kirk and Callahan Show on Tuesday (h/t ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss), he said:
“I think I’m very empathetic towards other people’s experiences. I know those situations aren’t easy. I’ve never been traded or released, but I can imagine how that might feel. I would never, ever feel that way about when Jimmy got traded, when Jacoby [Brissett] got traded. I’ve kept in touch with all those guys. When Matt Cassel was gone. All these guys I’ve worked with, I felt like I had such a great relationship with all the quarterbacks I’ve worked with. I kept in touch with basically everybody. So to characterize that as a certain way is just completely, completely wrong.”
Brady also stated: “I’ve never celebrated when someone has been traded, been cut. I would say that’s disappointing to hear that someone would express that, or a writer would express that, because it’s so far from what my beliefs are about my teammates.”
His response came on the heels of a report by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham last week in which Wickersham wrote Brady appeared “liberated” after New England shipped Garoppolo to San Francisco and that some players and staffers observed he “seemed especially excited, hollering and cajoling” at practice.
Team owner Robert Kraft reportedly embraced the quarterback, and a Patriots staffer said with regard to Brady, “He won.”
According to Wickersham, Kraft wanted to commit to Brady as the long-term answer at quarterback despite the fact that he’s 40 years old, while Belichick preferred to continue grooming Garoppolo as the heir apparent.
While Wickersham reported that Kraft essentially forced Belichick to deal Garoppolo for a second-round pick, Kraft told Peter King of The MMQB that Belichick came to him with the trade proposal prior to the Oct. 31 deadline, and he signed off on it.
On the same day Wickersham’s report was published, Brady, Belichick and Kraft released a joint statement:
New England Patriots @Patriots
Joint statement from Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, Head Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady: https://t.co/i555gWZIi6
Garoppolo thrived after the trade to San Francisco, as he went 5-0 as a starter, making him 7-0 as a starter overall during his young career.
In 2017, Garoppolo completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 1,560 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions while rushing for one score.
Meanwhile, Brady is a leading candidate to win his third NFL MVP award after throwing for 4,577 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight picks during the regular season.
Brady and the Pats will begin their pursuit of a sixth Super Bowl ring Saturday when they face the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium in the AF