Eli Manning was surprised to see his former Super Bowl rival Tom Brady join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and feels the quarterback will have a tough task adapting.
Following his retirement at the end of the 2019 season, New York Giants great Manning had the opportunity to observe a dramatic free agency at his position.
Brady, the man he beat in two Super Bowls, opted to leave the New England Patriots after 20 years that had produced nine AFC Championships and six Vince Lombardi trophies.
Manning was shocked Brady opted to part with Bill Belichick and hopes the quality of the Bucs’ receivers can go at least some way towards easing the 42-year-old’s transition.
Brady adapting to life with the Bucs has been made more difficult by the coronavirus impacting offseason activities.
«I was just surprised,» Manning said of Brady’s move to SiriusXM NFL Radio.
«So much success and still having success and playing at a high level and making playoffs and everything he has done there in New England, [I’m surprised] that there would be a departure.
«I think it’s gonna be tough for him, just the fact he can’t be doing everything he wants to be doing with the team and getting ready.
«It will be interesting how it all plays out – how quickly he can just adjust to a new organisation, new players and a new offense, all those new things, especially with the limited timing he’s gonna have being with them.
«When you have got talented receivers it makes it easier to get on the same page because they are getting open.»
One of the other top QB storylines came in last month’s NFL draft, as the Green Bay Packers controversially traded up to select Utah State’s Jordan Love in the first round, picking an apparent successor to franchise icon Aaron Rodgers.
Manning is sure Rodgers, who had previously spoken of his desire to finish his career at Green Bay in his 40s, would not have liked the move.
«It was a little bit of deja vu and kinda how it happened with Brett Favre,» said Manning.
«When Aaron Rodgers was drafted to Green Bay, obviously they didn’t trade up, but they took a quarterback in the first round when Favre was still playing well and had years left of playing.
«I’m sure Brett wasn’t real fond of that happening and I’m sure Aaron wasn’t real fond of it happening, especially after going 13-3 and playing good football.»