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For Tom Brady, it’s on to Tampa Bay

Tom Brady has left the New England Patriots after 20 seasons with the club under coach Bill Belichick and has joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tom Brady has left the New England Patriots after 20 seasons with the club under coach Bill Belichick and has joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

New Bucs QB doesn’t ‘want to talk about the past’

Tom Brady was asked several times Tuesday, in his first media session as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, why he left New England.

And at what point he’d decided to leave New England.

And how hard it was to leave New England.

But the 42-year-old really didn’t want to go there. Or back there, to be more precise.

And that was to be expected of someone so media savvy, after having spent the last 19 years in the league’s brightest spotlight — re-defining NFL quarterback success on Bill Belichick’s Patriots.

On a conference call with NFL reporters, along with Bucs GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians, Brady understandably received most of the questions. Several were about the circumstances of his departure last week from the Patriots, his only NFL stop until now since being drafted 20 years ago next month.

For instance, did Brady agree with Patriots owner Robert Kraft in that it was all the QB’s decision to leave?

“I’m not responsible for how other people will say certain things,” the four-time Super Bowl MVP said. “I think Mr. Kraft has been a great influence in my life and I’m so grateful for two decades (in New England).

“It’s been an amazing thing for my family, and I’m sure when I’m done playing I’ll look back and have a chance to reevaluate my entire career, but at the same time I’m excited for this opportunity that I have. I can only speak about how I feel.”

OK, but was he disappointed the Patriots did not make him a competing offer?

“No. I have a great deal of respect for — there’s nobody who’s a bigger fan of the New England Patriots than me. I have nothing but total respect and love. I’m so grateful to Mr. Kraft and the organization and coach (Bill) Belichick and all the coaches, and obviously all my teammates.”

And he elaborated on that.

OK, but at what precise point, in his mind, did Brady decide to cut the cord with the Patriots?

“It was really the night that I spoke with Mr. Kraft (late Monday evening, last week) and asked if I could come over and see him. We spoke and had a great conversation, and I just wanted to express what he’s meant to me in my life. We spoke with coach Belichick at the same time — we were in different locations, so we talked to him and it was a great conversation. I got a chance to talk to (team executive) Jonathan Kraft as well.

“All three of those guys have been involved with so many important decisions in my life — career-related, personal-related — and I leave there with great admiration for the people in that organization. It’s a world-class, first-class organization in every way and I wanted to leave it that way too … I certainly wish them the best.

“But for me, I’ve got to transition and focus on the opportunity that I have to make the current situation I’m in as best as I can.”

OK, but what would it have taken for him to remain a Patriot?

“I don’t want to talk about the past, because that’s not relevant to what’s important in my future, and what’s going on this offseason for me,” Brady said.

As his old boss Belichick might have said, for Brady now, it’s on to Tampa Bay.

DAZN CANADA, NFL IN TALKS

Postmedia has learned the NFL and DAZN — the live-streaming sports company that owns exclusive Canadian rights to the NFL’s Game Pass on-demand service — are in talks to bring some form of free NFL content to Canadians.

Both parties are hoping to do this for a limited time, on a social medium platform.

Last week the NFL announced a gesture for the benefit of its fans around the world, during this taxing time of physical distancing and isolation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

That is, to grant citizens of every country on this planet — except two — free access to its on-demand “Game Pass” service, until at least May 31.

One exception? China. The other? Canada.

Some Canadian NFL fans, of course, view that as a forearm shiver to the jaw.

The NFL is even offering its free service to those outside the U.S. and Canada until July 31, the league said last week in its announcement.

NFL Game Pass is a digital product available “across multiple platforms and devices,” the league said, which offers “an extensive library of football programming” including past regular-season and postseason games, NFL Films series such as Hard Knocks and A Football Life , plus film sessions with star players and coaches.

But because from a technological standpoint, DAZN makes all of its sports properties necessarily available to all Canadians who subscribe — even if one cares to sign up for only one sport in particular, such as NFL, or English Premier League soccer, or Italian Serie A soccer, etc. — one can understand that even in the event it could gain permission from all its other leagues and sports organizations to make DAZN available for free to all Canadians, for this limited-time NFL purpose, it probably would require DAZN to engage in intensive, long-term negotiations.

So yeah. Hard to believe that could even happen, really. But Postmedia understands both the NFL and DAZN hope to try to arrange something for Canadian NFL fans akin to the offer the NFL made elsewhere.

The compromise trying to be worked out would be to air a predetermined schedule of Game Pass programming on a social medium, to be determined. Hopefully, on a 24/7 schedule, to benefit Canadians in all five of our time zones, from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland. And hopefully not just classic games but some of that great NFL Films content too.

EXTRA POINTS

Ex-Tampa Bay WR Breshad Perriman agreed to terms with the Jets for one year … Ex-Green Bay TE Richard Rodgers is off to Washington … Denver signed ex-Detroit punter Sam Martin … Green Bay is signing ex-Indy and ex-Carolina WR Devin Funchess … The highest-rated XFL quarterback has joined the NFL team with the Super Bowl MVP quarterback — the Kansas City Chiefs: Jordan Ta’Amu of the St. Louis BattleHawks … Former New England and Tennessee running back Dion Lewis agreed to terms with the New York Giants on a one-year deal … Former New England WR Phillip Dorsett agreed to terms in Seattle … New England re-signed LB Shilique Calhoun … Detroit re-signed OL Oday Aboushi … Tampa Bay re-signed S Andrew Adams and DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches … San Francisco re-signed DB Jimmie Ward for three years, LB Joe Walker for one year.

JoKryk@postmedia.com

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