Joe Montana to Tom Brady: Don't leave Patriots if you don't have to leave

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Columnist

It’s been rehashed countless of times, but as a child growing up in the San Francisco area, Tom Brady was in the stands for “The Catch,” the iconic Joe Montana-to-Dwight Clark touchdown to win the 1981 NFC championship.

Brady was just 4 at the time, but he grew up idolizing Montana. He’ll still say he’s not as good a quarterback as Montana was.

If Brady still holds Montana in such high regard, the Hall of Famer has some advice for him.

‘It’s not easy to go to another team’

On Monday, NFL.com posted a story from Michael Silver, who sat down with Montana for an interview that will air on Sunday morning in the ramp-up to Super Bowl LIV.

Montana is almost-universally remembered as a 49er, but he ended his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, traded there in 1993 for the final two seasons of his career. Both of his former teams have made it to the Super Bowl, which is the basis for the interview.

Idol offers advice: Joe Montana, right, said Tom Brady shouldn't leave the New England Patriots if he doesn't have to. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group/Getty Images)

But Silver asked Montana about Brady, who is currently slated to become a free agent in March for the first time in his career.

Montana’s advice? Don’t go.

“It's not easy to go to another team and get accepted, no matter how much success you've had and how many years you've played,” Montana said. “They still want to see you come in and be the same player and be that loyal to them as you were to the other team you just left. So, it's not easy [for] guys looking at that change, especially at the quarterback position.”

Montana had success in his brief stint with the Chiefs, going to his last Pro Bowl in 1993 and leading the team to the AFC championship where it lost to Buffalo.

‘Don’t — if you don’t have to’

It’s not really clear at this point what will happen between Brady and the Patriots. Coach Bill Belichick of course wasn’t saying much in his last meeting with media, after New England’s playoff loss, and Brady hasn’t tipped his hand much either. Franchise owner Robert Kraft adores Brady and says he looks at the four-time Super Bowl MVP like his fifth son.

But Belichick in particular has never let sentimentality get in the way of roster building.

Still, Montana offered a word of caution if Brady’s thinking of signing with a new team.

“Don’t — if you don’t have to,” he said. “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 [with the Chiefs] running the offense, and so I was pretty familiar with probably three-quarters of the offense going in.

“And, if they let [Brady] 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.”

All over New England, Patriots fans are telling Brady to listen to his boyhood idol.

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