This NFL offseason has been especially interesting because of quarterback movement. Players like Philip Rivers and Cam Newton — staples of their previous franchises — will be wearing new uniforms this fall.
And while Rivers in a Colts uniform and Netwon in something other than Carolina Blue will be odd to witness, there will be no more peculiar sight than Tom Brady as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.
Thanks to his decision to leave New England after 20 years, Brady has drawn many comparisons to former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Joe Montana. The San Francisco 49ers traded Montana to the Chiefs in 1993 after he had spent 14 years with the club, winning four Super Bowls in that span. In exchange for Montana, San Francisco received a 1993 first-round pick, safety David Whitmore and a 1994 third-rounder.
USA Today recently caught up with Montana.
“It actually brings a new excitement to you, to a certain degree,” said Montana. “Because it’s not going to be the same-ol’, same-ol’ going into the same locker room that you’ve been going into for so many years, seeing the same people over and over. He doesn’t need a fresh start, but it gives you a great feeling inside, looking forward to trying to help the team move forward. And everybody believes in him, looking forward to watching him play.”
With Montana having missed nearly two seasons before the trade, the 49ers had opted to hand the keys of the franchise to Steve Young, who had started during Montana’s absence. New England’s plan in 2020 seems a little less foolproof, as the team is expected to allow Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer and Cody Kessler to compete for the position.
Regardless of who wins the Patriots’ position, an NFL theme from 27 years ago still holds true today.
“They say it and it comes up all the time, but it becomes a business,” Montana said. ”At some point, it’s business. That’s why I had long talks with (Hall of Fame former 49ers coach) Bill (Walsh) about our relationship, after he retired. The relationship that happens, everybody makes it look like there’s friction, but in the end, he goes, ‘I just had to keep my distance to a certain point from you because I can’t become your best friend. Because I have to make a decision on you at some point.’ Although Bill didn’t make the decision, and I don’t think he would have made the same one that was made.”
The Chiefs never won the Super Bowl with Montana — and they wouldn’t for 25 years after his tenure ended; ultimately it took drafting a quarterback of their own. The Buccaneers hope that things will be different for Brady in Tampa.