Brady knew he was leaving Patriots before 2019 season
Patrick McDermott / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tom Brady spoke candidly Wednesday about how he views his career, his shocking exit from the New England Patriots, and his relationship with Bill Belichick.

The new Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback told Howard Stern of Sirius XM that he doesn't believe he needed to stay with one team to protect his legacy.

"I would say I never cared about legacy. I could give a shit about (that). I never said in high school, 'Man, I can't wait for what my football legacy looks like,'" Brady said, according to NESN's Mike Cole. "That's just not me. That's not my personality.

"So why would I choose a different place? It's just time. I don't know what to say other than that. I had accomplished everything I could in two decades with an incredible organization and an incredible group of people. That will never change. No one can ever take that away from me. No one can take those Super Bowl championships or experiences away from us."

Brady also revealed he knew his time in New England was over before the start of the 2019 season. There was reportedly some tension between the team and QB during contract negotiations prior to the campaign, but the two parties agreed to stay together for one more year.

"I don't think there was a final, final decision until it happened, but I would say I probably knew before the start of last season that it was my last year. I knew our time was coming to an end," said Brady.

The six-time Super Bowl champion also pushed back against rumors that his deteriorating relationship with Belichick caused him to leave the Patriots.

Brady said that "many wrong assumptions" have been made about the duo's relationship. He also rejected the idea that he left New England to prove he can win without Belichick.

"I think it's a pretty shitty argument that people would say that. I can't do his job, and he can't do mine," Brady said. "So, the fact that you could say, 'Would I be successful without him?' The same level of success, I don't believe I would have been. But I feel the same and vice versa, as well. To have him allow me to be the best I can be, I'm grateful for that, and I very much believe he feels the same about me because we've expressed that to each other."

The QB added that he has no ill will toward his longtime head coach for not ensuring he finished his legendary career in New England.

Brady, who will turn 43 years old before the 2020 campaign begins, is entering uncharted territory. No QB has ever been a productive starter at that age, let alone challenge for a Super Bowl title.

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Brady knew he was leaving Patriots before 2019 season
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