Joe Namath hopes Tom Brady won’t make same late-career mistake he did
Joe Namath remains the most iconic New York Jets player in the organization’s history, and the Hall of Famer to this day regrets the decision he made to split with the team in 1977 and join the Los Angeles Rams.
When Namath led the Jets to victory in Super Bowl III, one preceded by his legendary guarantee, the notion of “Broadway Joe” leaving New York City seemed absurd. With a new coaching staff in place and a young quarterback selected in the draft, though, Namath decided to move on from the Jets, which he admits was “very difficult transition.”
It turned out to be a huge mistake, as the 34-year-old, injury-ravaged Namath went 2-2 with three touchdowns and five interceptions.
Armed with the hard lessons learned from that experience, Namath hopes the same fate won’t befall Tom Brady, who similarly is confronted with making such a drastic change so late in his career.
Further, in light of the differences in their respective situations on several fronts, Namath doesn’t believe Brady will leave the Patriots.
“It’s almost beyond my belief that he would go to another team under any circumstances,” Namath said, per Rich Cimini of ESPN. “I can’t imagine that separation. Moving out of the New England area that he’s been so accustomed to, and his family, that’s a hard thing, too. I don’t think he’ll ever leave that totally behind, I really don’t.
“I want to see him play as long as he physically and mentally wants to, man, because we’ve all seen over the years the execution that has been superb more times than not. We don’t get to see that kind of player, that kind of character, very often. It’s very rare.”
Namath has long held Brady in high regard, so his hope that the 42-year-old remains with the Patriots comes from a place of profound respect.
That being said, Brady’s uncertain future with the Patriots looms large heading into an offseason in which he’ll enjoy his first foray into free agency in a two-decade NFL career. Namath clearly hopes things remain the same for all parties involved.