Tom Brady often gets compared to Joe Montana when talking about the greatest quarterback in NFL history. And now New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is saying he doesn’t want Tom Brady to go out like Joe Montana in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.
“This is a real deal,” Kraft said. “Look at our track record. We don’t do fake deals. The contract we have with Tom Brady is a real contract we will both live by.”
Once upon a time Drew Bledsoe was considered the greatest Patriots quarterback of all time till a young gun came in and pushed him out. And just like Drew Bledsoe, Joe Montana was pushed out by a younger quarterback but Kraft wants Brady to finish his career in New England.
“I was probably wearing my fan hat as much as anything else,” he told King. “I just didn’t want to ever see this become like Joe Montana leaving San Francisco, Emmitt Smith leaving Dallas, Brett Favre leaving Green Bay, Peyton Manning leaving Indianapolis. If Tom Brady played out this current contract and left us, there was no doubt in my mind that someone out there would pay him top dollar, and they should, for his ability, his leadership and his unselfishness.”
But the low numbers in his deal were to maintain that the team would be competitive and worth Brady sticking around.
“I was just trying to stay ahead of the curve,” Kraft said. “If we were going to have to pay him elite-quarterback money and have elite-quarterback cap numbers, I just didn’t think we would be able to build a team. We don’t want to have a team where we’re paying 18 to 20 percent to a player on the cap. I wanted to do something elegant that would work for everybody.”
When Tom Brady was drafted by the Patriots he told Kraft, the first time they met, it was the best decision he ever made. And it certainly has paid off.
“These people don’t know the relationship between Tommy and this team,” Kraft said. “Maybe they hate the Patriots, or they’re jealous. I understand the naysayers are out there, but we want to build a team capable of winning every year, and while this is not perfect in every way, we think this will help us get there.”