For years, people questioned whether Bill Belichick made the New England Patriots great or if it was Tom Brady's play the reason why they were so dominant over the past two decades. Well, in one season without each other, Brady won a Super Bowl and the Patriots didn't make the playoffs.
After finishing with a 7-9 record and more questions than answers, team owner Robert Kraft showed an almost unprecedented willingness to spend big bucks to reinforce his squad in the offseason.
Then again, it still seems like having Cam Newton instead of Tom Brady is a huge step back for the organization, so Kraft finally spoke up and gave his insight on Brady's departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Robert Kraft Finally Opens Up On Tom Brady's Departure
Kraft went on to say that he would love to watch Brady retiring as a member of the New England Patriots but that they had reached a point that he had earned the right to leave if he wanted:
“Look, I love Tom Brady and he’s great, but he’s moved on. What happened here last year was not something to our liking. We had to make the corrections," Kraft said in an interview, as quoted by Pro Football Talk.
“I would have loved for him to retire as a Patriot. Everybody knew that but in life things just happen in a way that you have to balance a lot of things. After 20 years, I thought he was entitled to make a decision that was what he thought was best for him and where he was at. We gave him the ability to do that. It’s like marriages sometimes. No one knows on the outside everything going on and you try to balance a lot, and it is what it is," he added.
Robert Krafts Admits He Could've Done More To Keep Tom Brady
But perhaps the most important part of the interview was when he finally admitted that he could've done more to keep him on the team but chose not to do so, something that'll likely haunt them for years:
“Well, after 20 years with any player, I’ll make this commitment to any player in the future. Anyone who spends 20 years with us and helps us win six Super Bowls. (...) Look, we could have, contract-wise, kept him in our camp, but it’s just not the right thing. Naturally, we want to win, but who knows what would have happened if he stayed here. Look what happened at the end of his last season here," the owner admitted.
At the end of the day, it's clear that both parties have moved on. Belichick will still be considered one of the best masterminds in the NFL history and Brady will still be seen as one of the greatest to ever do it. They made each other, but it's time to let it go.