Tom Brady 'Was the Most Unhappy QB in Football' Last Year, Says Sportscaster Al Michaels

Since leaving the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month, Tom Brady has gradually lifted the lid over his decision to leave the franchise that drafted him two decades ago.

From the desire to prove himself in a different environment for the first time in 20 years to admitting that the pressure of meeting the lofty standards he and the Patriots set since he was drafted in the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady has hinted there were different factors in play.

Chief among them was that the six-time Super Bowl champion was no longer happy in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Speaking on NBC Sports' Lunch Talk with Mike Tirico on Wednesday, Sunday Night Football play-by-play caller Al Michaels revealed in November Brady told him he was "the most unhappy 8-0 quarterback in football."

The conversation took place ahead of the Patriots' road game against the Baltimore Ravens. New England rolled into Maryland with an 8-0 record, but that wasn't enough for Brady to hide his dissatisfaction.

"I think the most revealing thing we heard from Tom is we went in for the midseason game in Baltimore on a Sunday night in early November, and [the Patriots] were undefeated," Michaels told Tirico. "And we were talking to Brady, and Brady said to us, 'I'm the most unhappy 8-0 quarterback in football.'"

The Patriots lost 37-20 to the 5-2 Ravens and went on to win four of their final seven regular season games, before losing at home to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card round.

Michael's comments came only hours after Brady admitted he felt the 2019 campaign would prove to be his final year in New England, even though the Patriots arrived into last season as the defending champions after defeating the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Appearing on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM Wednesday morning, the veteran quarterback explained he knew his race in New England was close to being run.

"I don't think there was a final, final decision until it happened, but I would say I probably knew before the start of last season that it was my last year, and I knew that it was just—our time was coming to an end," he explained.

"I knew that at the end of the year I was gonna become a free agent for the first time in my career."

Brady signed a two-year deal worth $50 million with the Bucs, after exercising the clause that allowed him to become a free agent at the end of the season. The 42-year-old had signed a two-year extension with the Patriots before the start of last season, but the deal was voidable after one year.

In the same interview, the three-time MVP also pushed back on rumors a fracture in the relationship between him and Patriots coach Bill Belichick had motivated his decision to leave New England.

"I think he [Belichick] has a lot of loyalty," he told Stern.

"He and I have had a lot of conversations that nobody has ever been privy to, and nor should they be. So many wrong assumptions were made about our relationship and how he felt about me. I know genuinely how feels about me.

"I'm not going to respond to every rumor or assumption made other than what his responsibility as coach is to get the best player for the team not only for the short term but the long term as well."

During 19 seasons in New England, Brady won an unprecedented six Super Bowls and took the Patriots to the NFL title game nine times overall, winning the AFC East for the last 11 straight seasons.

The former Michigan alumni will find an altogether different situation in Tampa Bay, as the Bucs last made the playoffs in the 2007 season.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 4 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Brady left the Patriots after two decades last month. Adam Glanzman/Getty