Stephen A. Smith isn’t picking up what Tom Brady is putting down.
The ESPN host was on his show First Take on Monday and was reacting to Tom Brady’s sit down interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired over the weekend. During the Patriots quarterback’s conversation with Oprah, the question of retirement came up and Brady was rather candid noting that he’s very aware that the end is near.
“I think about it more now than I used to,” Brady told Oprah. “I think I’m seeing there’s definitely an end coming sooner, rather than later.”
That didn’t sit well with Smith considering that we’ve heard on countless occasions from Brady that he’d been steadfast at playing until he’s 45-year old. It was that belief that also helped the Jimmy Garoppolo trade along earlier last season.
“The belief universally is that Tom Brady, obviously with his relationship with Mr. Kraft, enabled Mr. Kraft’s involvement. Not that he needs permission, he is the owner, he is the boss, but nevertheless obviously he was going to side with Tom Brady. That’s why Garoppolo had to go and there you have it,” Smith said.
“One would stand to think and if you’re Tom Brady and you have a problem with them keeping Garoppolo, you gave the impression that you have every intention on being here for years and years to come. And that’s something he’s been quoted as saying on a number of occasions.
“So I don’t want to hear anything out of your mouth alluding to how the end is near. Now granted he obviously is closer to the end than he is to the beginning, he’s 40-years old we get all that. But the point is, I don’t want to year that out of your mouth and it ain’t even been a year yet that Jimmy Garoppolo was gone. I mean, you weren’t saying that stuff when Jimmy Garoppolo was there. You were sitting up there talking about, ‘Yeah man, I’ve got years left. I’m ready to roll.’ “
Because of Brady’s “I’m playing until 45” mantra that we’ve heard for the last few years, Smith is of the belief that Brady cannot retire anytime soon. He also thinks that these comments teasing a potential retirement are a direct shot to Bill Belichick.
“I don’t want to hear that now. I mean, this is something that I would have wanted to hear prior to Jimmy Garoppolo being traded, but now that Jimmy Garoppolo is gone for Tom Brady to do this now it’s clearly a shot at Bill Belichick. He basically gave him the middle finger if you really really want to look at it. Because bringing that up and alluding to retirement, you know that anybody with some sense is going to go like this: ‘Damn, they just traded Jimmy Garoppolo. We didn’t hear this from Tom Brady when Jimmy Garoppolo was there. I mean he really pulled a fast one.’
“If I’m Bill Belichick, I’m looking at Mr. Kraft and I’m like, ‘Really? You see this? Do you see this right now?'”