In the Starting Line-Up
It was mutual; if NE was still in the hunt, Brady would still be here and Bill would still want him. Both want to win. The problem is that after the last 3 SB wins, the playmakers are old & cupboards are empty on young talent. This same kind of issue popped after their first 3 SBs; and Belichick wiffed on guys like Maroney & Chad Jackson in 2006, but hit on Randy Moss & Welker the next year and kept an otherwise veteran team in the hunt. Well, that same kind scenario popped up again; the drafts sucked once again BUT this time the veteran acquisitions like Josh Gordon, and Antonio Brown and Mohammed Sanu completely bombed too. That's the issue. That's why both Bill and Brady were ready to move on, that's why Bill let Brady hit the open market, that's why Bill never made an offer, and that's why Tom never asked for one when he called them to say goodbye.
Deja vu, if you will, both periods with the same OC.... weak drafts then desperation trades to make up for it