We had Spygate, we had Deflategate and now we’ve apparently got Scissorgate.
Indeed, Tom Brady did not play in New England’s preseason win over the Chicago Bears last Thursday, this after reportedly slicing his right thumb with a pair of scissors. Brady called the mishap a “silly accident” and later took an excused personal absence because he “had to take care of something.”
What is going on here?
“I think there’s layers to this,” Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “It’s certainly teed up for Tom Brady to be out of sorts about things. I’m sure the suspension is embarrassing and frustrating for him, and I think the team is looking at this as kind of a free pass to take a look at the next guy.”
That next guy, of course, is Jimmy Garoppolo, who will start the Patriots’ first four games of the season. On the one hand, it’s fair to say that the Patriots will be weakened without Brady. On the other hand, they’ve won the AFC East in 12 of the last 13 years, including seven straight.
“They’re never really threatened in the division, in my view,” Shaughnessy said. “You got to worry about home field and all that stuff, I suppose. But by and large, it’s a clean look at the next guy and three of the games are at home.”
New England opens at Arizona on Sunday Night Football but plays its next three games at home against Miami (Sept. 18), Houston (Sept. 22) and Buffalo (Oct. 2).
Still, why is Brady is acting so strange?
“I just think Tom is pushing back on this,” Shaughnessy said. “He remembers how he got the job, with Drew Bledsoe being the incumbent and the franchise quarterback, and he knows that Bill, at the end, is going to be bloodless. That’s the way it goes. He’s still probably the best quarterback in the NFL, so you’d say he has nothing to worry about. But he’s also 39 years old, has got to serve the suspension, has to leave the premises a week from Saturday for a month, and I think he’s out of sorts about the whole thing.”
Brady, however, isn’t just acting out of sorts; he looks out of sorts – at least to Shaughnessy.
“He looks terrible to me,” Shaughnessy said. “He looks like he weighs 180 pounds. I don’t know what this diet is doing, and maybe it’s good for the long term, but he doesn’t look like a quarterback or a football player. He’s dramatically thin.”
Of course, it could also be that Brady senses the end is near. There aren’t many 40-year-old quarterbacks in the NFL, he’s going to miss four games this season, and the heir apparent is getting his first real chance to prove his worth.
Brady is also the only one who fell on the sword for Deflategate.
“He basically took one for the team there,” Shaughnessy said, “and it never got traced to Belichick, which was crucial for the franchise and crucial for this season and Bill’s legacy and all that stuff. I’m not sure he feels taken care of or that that’s been reciprocated.”