Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on March 20, officially ending a 20-year tenure with the team that drafted him. This move was met with praise from some and criticism from others. Now the man that defeated Brady in two separate Super Bowl matchups is weighing in.
Former New York Giants QB Eli Manning, who announced his retirement following the 2019 season, recently weighed in on Brady's departure from New England. He explained to the New York Post that he is a little stunned about the development. The two-time Super Bowl MVP was primarily discussing how he and his family have been adjusting to self-quarantine amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but he was asked about his supposed "nemesis" due to their history. Manning was the QB responsible for upsetting the previously-undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
"I was surprised, how it all worked out. I just did not imagine him leaving, them letting him go and him going somewhere else, just from my experience," Manning said. "But for him to have had all the success, do everything he'd done in New England and did it with one organization, I guess you just kind of wonder what was the reasoning? I don't know if he felt unappreciated, or just wanted to try something different, but was surprised that this went down."
While the 16-year veteran in Manning was surprised by Brady leaving New England, he didn't believe that this will end the dynasty. One major reason is that Patriots coach Bill Belichick still remains in Foxborough. The longtime coach built this team into a contender and could do so once again. He will just have to find Brady's replacement.
"No, I don't necessarily think that. I think they still have a very good team, a great defense, great coaches," Manning said. "Obviously Tom was a very important part on their success over the years, but I think they have kind of a way and they have a system that [Bill] Belichick has implemented there that I think will continue to find ways to have success, but it will be different. If they go out and get a new quarterback, or stay with the guys they have, it might not be as it's been in the past."
Manning expects the Patriots to remain competitive despite no longer have a six-time Super Bowl champion under center. He also doesn't believe that Brady to the Buccaneers automatically makes them a title contender. Having Chris Godwin and Mike Evans catching passes will help Brady, but he is also missing a considerable amount of practice time with his new receivers.
"I never believed you can win the Super Bowl in March and April. You kind of start the process. It'll be interesting when teams will be able to get back together," Manning said. "They are missing the spring and missing time in practice and throwing together until a little bit later in the spring, that's valuable time for a quarterback to kind of get on the same page and learn a new offense and figure that out."
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