Deion Branch: Brady, Belichick Have "Cordial" Relationship

The former Super Bowl MVP shed some light on Tom Brady's relationship with Bill Belichick, as well as expectations for Cam Newton

Zach Gelb
July 08, 2020 - 8:28 am

When Tom Brady left New England for Tampa Bay this offseason, his former teammate, Deion Branch, was stunned. But he also understood Brady’s decision.

“I was shocked, but I also understand his situation and him doing what’s best for himself and his family,” Branch said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I understand what the organization is going through as well. They feel they got to move forward.”

Branch, who won two Super Bowls with the Patriots and was MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX, believes that Brady, who turns 43 in August, wanted a new challenge at this stage of his career.

“I don’t know what else Tom could have done [in New England except win] another Super Bowl,” Branch said. “That’s been the norm. So I think this is another challenge for Tom, just wanting to see if he can go off elsewhere and possibly make this happen again, just to take the GOAT [label] and put it on a different stratosphere. If these guys go off and win the Super Bowl in Tampa, what would he be considered? The greatest in all sports?”

Branch said the relationship between Brady and Belichick was, and is, "cordial."

“I think overall there’s a lot of respect amongst Tom and Coach Belichick, as a player to a coach and as a coach to a player,” Branch said. “There’s a lot of respect there amongst those two guys. You’re looking at two guys who are pretty much the best at what they do. Coach Belichick is the best head coach ever, and Tom is the greatest football player to ever play the game, in my eyes. Clearly the best quarterback. So you’re looking at two strong-minded individuals. The decision is going to be respected across the board. I think Tom respected what the organization had to say, how they felt about the situation, and I know the situation was mutual and they parted ways. There’s nothing that can be done.”

With Brady in Tampa Bay, the Patriots will try to extend their dynasty with another former NFL MVP, Cam Newton. The 31-year-old signed a one-year deal with New England in June.

“I expect big things,” Branch said. “I’m just excited to see what Josh McDaniels can come up with with this type of athlete. He’s had the greatest quarterback to play the game. But the Patriots have never had a dual-threat quarterback such as Cam Newton. So I’m excited to see. Josh is a brilliant offensive coordinator. This is going to be exciting to see what these guys can create. I know Cam is excited for another opportunity. Things didn’t pan out the way he wanted in Carolina. I’m sure he’s leaving a legacy there and possibly going off to start another one. We’ll see what it looks like. Me personally, as a fan, I can’t wait to see it, man.”

While Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer have a better handle on the Patriots’ playbook at this point, Newton will get brought up to speed in the coming months.

“Bill is going to put the best quarterback on the football field,” Branch said. “We know what Cam can do. He’s a former NFL MVP. We know what he brings to the table. It’s just all about now. How much of this offense can he grasp? COVID didn’t help. It’s not helping the situation, this pandemic. Clearly, in my eyes, Jarrett and Brian have the upper hand from that perspective. . . . The guys around Cam will be the guys who can take a lot off his shoulders. They’re the ones that’s going to make this transition a little bit more easier for him by the plays they’re making on the offensive side of the ball. We shouldn’t feel like Cam’s got to come in and make every play.”