Joe Montana gives important advice to Tom Brady ahead of impending 2020 free agency
Montana says Brady shouldn't leave the Patriots if he doesn't have to
Joe Montana bucked the trend of Hall of Fame quarterbacks that ended their career with another team and couldn't recapture the magic when he found success with the second franchise he played for, however, his takeaway from that experience might surprise you. Just because Montana had success with the Kansas City Chiefs after a decade-plus with the San Francisco 49ers, doesn't mean he believes other quarterbacks should follow suit.
In the case of Tom Brady, Montana's advice is clear. The New England Patriots quarterback is scheduled to be a free agent for the first time in his 20-year career, but Montana's one piece of advice for Brady can be boiled down to — the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
"Don't — if you don't have to," Montana told NFL.com's Michael Silver on Brady leaving the Patriots. "It's a process to go through, and it takes time to get used to the team. I was fortunate because (former 49ers quarterbacks coach) Paul Hackett was there running the offense, and so I was pretty familiar with probably three-quarters of the offense going in. And, if they let him have his own offense (with a new team), yeah, that makes it a little bit easier. But still, the transition of moving …
"I just can't see how they would let him leave there, myself."
Montana's exit from San Francisco was a publicized and messy divorce which led toward the Hall of Fame quarterback spending the final two years of his career with Kansas City. The Chiefs traded for Montana and then set him up to succeed with the hiring of Hackett as offensive coordinator and the installation of the west coast offense. The Chiefs won their division for the first time in 22 years as Montana threw for 2,144 yards, 13 TDs and seven interceptions for an 87.4 passer rating at 37 years old. Kansas City eventually fell in the AFC Championship Game to the Buffalo Bills, winning more postseason games in the 1993 season than the previous 24 seasons. Montana went to his final Pro Bowl in 1993.
Montana's success in Kansas City is abnormal for future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Joe Namath sat the bench with the Los Angeles Rams and Johnny Unitas toiled in obscurity with the San Diego Chargers. Both those teams didn't cater their offenses toward their quarterbacks and there is no guarantee Brady's future employer will do the same.
Why leave New England if they want you to return? That's all Montana is trying to tell Brady — he simply wants arguably the greatest quarterback of all time to have the ending to his career he deserves.