New England Patriots

By Alex Barth,

Most of the discussion surrounding Tom Brady’s pending free agency has been related to Brady’s mindset. Speaking with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak and Bertrand on Tuesday, Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson shifted the conversation to the Patriots owner.

“Robert Kraft, it’s your team,” Woodson began, speaking about the relationship between Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick. “I know Bill has gotten you six trophies. I got that. But you pay for that, too. That’s your money. You choose [what] to do with that money.”

Woodson then got to Kraft and Brady. “If you let that guy, walk, shame on you. Shame on you. Because he deserves what he deserves. He’s given you a hometown discount his whole frickin’ career. That dude should be making $30 million every year. Minimum. And he doesn’t ask for that because he wants other players. He wants he wants to win. The one time you can give him what he wants, give him $30 million. Give him $25 million. Give him $30 million. You have to give him that one year, $30 million. And then you’re off into your sunset. He should do that.”

Even if Kraft is willing to give Brady the big check, there’s no guarantee Brady wants to return to New England. Woodson used the context of his decision to leave the Pittsburgh Steelers after 10 years to explain what Brady might be going through.

“I still had room to play. I knew that. I wanted the ring, but I wanted to be respected by the front office. So from the contract negotiations, I wanted them [The Steelers] to say, I want you and this is how much I want you. Well, if they don’t sign that contract and give you a certain number you’re going to be like ‘well you really don’t want me’. So for me, it was my time to leave, even though I know I’m really considered a Steeler.”

Even though it’s happened before, Woodson said he’ll be shocked to see Brady play for a team other than the Patriots. If the two sides do decide to part ways, he believes it’ll ultimately come down to Brady’s choice.

“Tom Brady, he is the Patriots. I mean, I know it’s Bill Belichick. I get that. But Tom Brady is the reason, he’s one of the main cogs. The reason they have six Lombardi Trophies sitting in New England. So I would be shocked, shocked that Robert Kraft said ‘go ahead Tom, leave’. I would be shocked. I would be disappointed, but I’ll be shocked. I wouldn’t be surprised because it happens. It happened to Joe Montana. It happened to Peyton [Manning]. It happens to all great players. Somewhere along the line, they feel they have to leave. They’ve been disrespected by the teams that they’re at. But I would be shocked that Robert Kraft would let him leave, and don another uniform of somebody else.”

You can listen to Zolak and Bertrand’s full conversation with Rod Woodson here:

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth