Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak joined critics in their displeasure with Tom Brady’s retirement announcement, which failed to mention his former team.
Zolak, who played seven seasons in New England from 1991-1998, picked apart Brady’s “cold” and calculated” farewell message during an appearance on NBC Sports Boston’s “Zolak & Bertrand” show on Tuesday, hours after Brady posted the message.
“He’s either one cold, calculating son of a b–ch to where you can release that and say ‘That’s it, that part of my life is done. This is my new venture.’ And it was Tampa Bay and now I’m just gonna thank those [people]. I already did New England, now I’m doing you … this would be a massive ‘F’ you to the fans,” Zolak said.
“Tom is very calculated in everything he does. Everything is pre-programmed, pre-thought out. Tom doesn’t just omit someone for ‘Oh I forgot that. I’m going to come back and thank that person again.’ No. This is all pre-calculated.”
Brady spent 20 seasons in New England after the team selected him with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. He went on to win six Super Bowls alongside coach Bill Belichick.
The quarterback took his talents to Tampa Bay, signing with the Buccaneers in March 2020. In his first season with the Buccaneers, Brady won a Super Bowl, his seventh championship overall.
In his retirement announcement — a lengthy note shared Tuesday on his social media accounts — Brady thanked nearly everyone from the Buccaneers’ organization but did not mention Patriots owner Robert Kraft or Belichick.
Zolak acknowledged Brady’s goodbye message to the Patriots in 2020, in which he did thank Kraft and Belichick by name — but continued to argue that New England fans deserved more from Brady’s message.
“Ninety percent of his career was played here in New England, his pro football career. We take the voice of the fans here, so you gauge the temperature. A lot of people are upset that New England, the fans, the Kraft family, coach Belichick were not mentioned in the statement that Tom released today. I think that’s what people will remember here today,” Zolak said, via CBS Sports Boston.
“It’s been 20 years going out buying his jerseys, paying for tickets to go to Super Bowls, to games,” Zolak said. “When somebody is that ingrained in a fan base like Tom was – Tom’s the best to ever play, that’s never going to be debated. But how it ended here, and him sort of not wanting to come back here, it sticks in some fans’ hearts.”
Kraft released a separate statement reacting to Brady’s retirement news, which was shared to New England’s social media accounts.
Brady thanked his former team later on Tuesday when he reposted their congratulatory messages to his Twitter and Instagram accounts.