Tom Brady is one of those guys where there is rarely an in between; you either absolutely love him or absolutely hate him. We have discussed it on this website frequently, whether to hate him, if he's the greatest of all time and if he's not the greatest of all time. The possible discussion topics regarding Brady are endless. When it comes to players, it is a slightly different approach. Most respect him, yet some don't. Some hate him yet respect him, some idolize him, and some just flat out despise and disrespect him. It is different, however, when it comes to teammates.
It is hard to decide which is an easier feat; playing with Tom Brady or playing against Tom Brady. Neither can be easy. Playing against him is difficult due to his dominance, yet playing with him is difficult due to the constant spotlight on him. It's a double-edged sword for most NFL players, but not all. A lot of the players who have played with him have gotten a Super Bowl ring out of it and have nothing to complain about, and some have plenty to complain about.
In a previous list, we have given you "8 Players Who Love Tom Brady and 7 Who Hate Him" yet didn't focus entirely on former and current teammates, who have a much different story to tell. Here are eight teammates who love Tom Brady, and seven who may not have hated Brady, but they didn't have an easy time being his teammate.
15 Love: Heath Evans
Heath Evans played for the Patriots as a fullback from 2005-2008. Despite the lack of a championship ring during his Patriots years, he remains friends with Brady and believes Brady is a good role model for today’s youth.
Evans says, “The young kids need to listen up and take notes... This younger generation, they’re focused on all the wrong things. They have the right examples right in front of them. But it’s all about their brand. Look, the best thing for your brand is to have the respect of your teammates, the respect of your coach, and win.”
14 Hate: Randy Moss
Randy Moss was a wide receiver for the Patriots from 2007-2010 and despite a stellar career, retired without a Super Bowl ring. Despite being friends with Brady, like many of the other players in the hated category on this list, the spotlight was always on Brady during his tenure with the Patriots. His time on the Patriots led to no Super Bowl rings as well as being traded to the Vikings (where he spent most of the early days of his career) must have added salt to the wound.
13 Love: Troy Brown
Troy Brown played on the Patriots as one of their most successful wide receivers from 1993-2007 and won three Super Bowl rings. He played with Brady for the latter half of his career and after a decade into retirement remains adamant that Brady is not only the greatest teammate but the greatest quarterback of all time and an even better person.
When asked about Brady’s persona and likeability, Brown says, “So people always want to know what he’s really like. Does he have a sense of humor? I tell them, ‘What you see right there, that’s Tom. He’s a regular dude."
12 Hate: Lawyer Milloy
Lawyer Milloy began his NFL career as a strong safety with the Patriots in 1996 after being drafted in the second round that same year. Tom Brady came along in 2000 and Milloy received the only Super Bowl ring of his career in 2002, the same season where Brady took over as starting quarterback. Despite Milloy being one of the stronger players on the Patriots during the early Brady days, he was one of the first players traded in the Brady era when he was traded to the Buffalo Bills in 2003.
11 Love: Brian Hoyer
Hoyer currently plays quarterback for the Bears but was Tom Brady’s backup on the Patriots from 2009-2011. Despite not being teammates for several years now, the two remain good friends and when Hoyer suffered an ACL injury in 2013 when he played for Cleveland, he regularly turned to Brady for advice.
10 Hate: Chad Johnson
Chad Johnson played wide receiver for the Patriots in 2011. It can be speculated that Johnson joined the Patriots for one season to try to snag a Super Bowl ring before retiring, but it didn’t happen. It not only didn’t happen, but Johnson barely contributed to the Patriots that year. Reports were had had trouble grasping the playbook which led to him sitting on the bench more often than not. Johnson was the star on the Cincinnati Bengals for a decade, and it can be speculated that he was bitter towards the spotlight being on someone other than him, and worst of all, it not resulting in the championship ring that he obviously craved.
9 Love: Michael Hoomanawanui
Michael Hoomanawanui played tight end for the Patriots from 2012-2015 and collected a Super Bowl ring during that time. He now plays for the New Orleans Saints, and like many former Patriots, he remains close friends with Brady. Despite only being a Patriot for three years, their friendship is strong and sentimental. To this day, he remembers meeting Brady fondly, who he grew up admiring.
He recalls, “It’s a little intimidating, especially since he’s a guy you grew up watching and with all the success he’s had. But when the guy introduces himself to you on the first day, even though there’s no introduction needed — I know who you are — but for him to put himself on the same level as you to make you feel comfortable, that’s pretty cool.”
8 Hate: Adam Vinatieri
Despite winning three Super Bowl rings with the Patriots, all within the Brady era, Indianapolis Colts placekicker Adam Vinatieri doesn’t appear to be Brady’s biggest fan. Vinatieri is one of the more successful Patriots players on this list (hence the three rings as a Patriot plus another with the Colts) and he is one of the many players that could have remained on the Patriots if so much money wasn’t going straight to Brady. His career will always be defined by his clutch kicking in New England, but he was yet another disposable piece for Bill Belichick and company.
7 Love: Jimmy Garoppolo
Garoppolo came into the spotlight at the start of the 2016 season when he took Brady’s place as starting quarterback while Brady served his Deflategate suspension. Like many, Garoppolo, 25, grew up admiring Brady and was ecstatic when they became teammates. The two have become close friends, which can be seen on both of their Instagram accounts. Despite speculation that there was awkwardness between the two due to the suspension earlier in the season, Garoppolo denies that and says the two are close friends. Brady has shown him the ropes of the game as he grows into a better player.
6 Hate: Matt Cassel
Matt Cassel currently plays quarterback for the Tennessee Titans and began his career with the Patriots in 2005 and was with them before being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009. Matt Cassel took over for Tom Brady when he was hurt in the 2008 season, and it must have felt like a stab in the back from the Patriots when he was traded the following year and received little to no recognition for his efforts. The two maintain a close friendship and share plenty of fond memories such as a hilarious prank war during Cassel’s rookie year. According to ESPN, the two “play golf, see each other's families, work out together during the offseason in Southern California and still talk every other week during the season.”
5 Love: Matthew Slater
Matthew Slater has been with the Patriots since 2008 and has picked up one Super Bowl ring. Like Brady, Slater is known for joking around and their friendship is a unique one. It is no secret that Slater admires Brady and loves having him as a teammate.
Slater says, “It means a great deal to have a quarterback who has done what Tom has done. We look to him. Everybody on this team looks to him, and as he goes we go. We have a lot of confidence in him as a player, as a leader, as a teammate, and as a friend. We’re thankful he’s on our side. We’re going to go out there and give it all for him.”
4 Hate: Darrelle Revis
Darrelle Revis is currently a cornerback for the New York Jets and played for the Patriots in 2014, where he collected his only Superbowl ring. Revis’s possible dislike for Tom Brady appeared when the Deflategate scandal erupted, despite Revis receiving his only championship ring due to the season the alleged incident occurred.
3 Love: Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman currently plays wide receiver for the Patriots and like Brady, he is known for having a big personality. Some would think two big personalities would crash, but these two mesh together perfectly, often producing hilarious behavior on the sidelines.
Edelman is jokingly referred to as Brady’s “punching bag”, a role he wears as a badge of honor. Edelman says, “It’s like a relationship where he knows my look when I’m like ‘Alright, bub. Pump the breaks. It’s snowing, don’t slam those breaks, pump them.’ I’ll give him a look and he’ll know when I’m a little pissed about that, or this, that. I let him take his steam off. I’ll be that punching bag as long as it makes him feel good. It’s a relationship. It’s give and take.”
2 Hate: Drew Bledsoe
If it weren’t for Bledsoe, Brady wouldn’t have the career he has today. Long story short, Bledsoe was the starting quarterback for the Patriots in 2001 before he was injured in the second week of the season. Tom Brady stepped in and even after Bledsoe recovered, he remained on the sidelines. The Patriots won the Super Bowl that year and Bledsoe eventually ended up playing for Buffalo and Dallas before retiring in 2007.
1 Love: Rob Gronkowski
Ah, the Gronk and Brady bromance. The two show love for each other on and off the field, most notably on social media. When Gronk first arrived in New England, Tom Brady was the player he was most excited to meet, and in Gronk’s rookie year Brady often gave him a hard time in hopes he would become a better player. It’s pretty safe to say that this worked.
Gronk says, “I feel like he saw the potential in me from the beginning when I was a rookie, and then he came up to me one day and he was like, “Yo Rob, you know I love you. I just see a lot of potential in you. I’m trying to get on the same page, I want to see your max performance out there.” When he said that, it all clicked together.”
Turns out Brady's tough love was right for Gronk and you have to believe Gronk is grateful to Brady for making him the player he is today.
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