In 2000, the New England Patriots made probably the biggest decision in franchise history when they selected quarterback Tom Brady in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. Eventually, that decision paid huge dividends as Brady led the Patriots to six Super Bowl trophies in 20 seasons before the veteran quarterback decided to sign a two-year deal worth $50 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason. That year, the Patriots carried Brady as their fourth quarterback, behind starter Drew Bledsoe and backups Michael Bishop and John Friesz. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick described it as a wasted roster spot but he didn’t want the other teams to get Brady.The following year, Brady earned the backup role behind Bledsoe but eventually took over the starting job after the latter went down with a season-ending injury in their 2001 season opener.

Belichick told Kraft about his desire

However, a Jeff Benedict’s new book, “The Dynasty” indicated that Belichick initial plan was to make Brady the starting quarterback to begin the 2001 season. “If it had been up to Belichick, Brady would have been his starter at the beginning of the 2001 season,” Benedict stated in his new book. Belichick told team owner Robert Kraft regarding his assessment during their meeting at the end of the preseason, but he never pushed it because the Patriots just signed Bledsoe to a 10-year deal worth $103 million and the team just came off a 5-11 season. Belichick decided to stick with Bledsoe as starting an unproven rookie over a tested veteran “would have been a bridge too far”, Benedict wrote, per a report by Ricky Doyle of the New England Sports Network (NESN).

However, Bledsoe was injured in their season opener, paving the way for Brady to take the starting job. As they say, the rest was history as Brady started his journey to becoming the greatest quarterback of all time in the NFL. As for Brady, he will continue his journey to win his seventh Super Bowl ring with the Buccaneers, who last made the playoffs in 2007.

However, Brady is surrounded by enormous talent, including young receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The Buccaneers recently signed star running back Leonard Fournette after he was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Newton clinches starting job

The Patriots, for their part, have found Brady’s successor as they named Cam Newton their starting quarterback for the upcoming season, according to The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride, per his source.

McBride said Belichick announced his decision to pick Newton as starter during Thursday’s team meeting. Newton was impressive during training camp, allowing him to beat Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham for the post vacated by Brady. The Patriots also named Newton as one of the team captains, along running back James White, linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley, center David Andrews, defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, cornerback Jason McCourty, safety Devin McCourty and wide receiver Matthew Slater. Newton will show his wares when the Patriots take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 1 on Sept. 13 at Gillette Stadium.

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