One of Tom Brady's former New England Patriots teammates is calling on the franchise to sign the retired seven-time Super Bowl champion amid its quarterback woes.
Former Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel Sr. once again praised Brady while throwing shade at his former head coach, Bill Belichick, after New England's 38-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday (October 8), which dropped the team to 1-4 through its first five games.
"This terrible team that everybody sees is a terrible team. He can come right now, today, and win a Super Bowl for the New England Patriots. Because that's Tom Brady," Samuel told TMZ Sports on Monday (October 9).
"I compare this team to the 2015 Super Bowl champions," Samuel added. "I see the same exact team -- it's only minus Tom Brady is the difference. And I can see Tom coming and leading this to the Super Bowl."
Starting quarterback Mac Jones was benched for backup Bailey Zappe for late in the Patriots' blowout loss for the second consecutive week. Jones, a former first-round draft pick, threw for 110 yards and two interceptions on 12 of 22 passing on Sunday.
Samuel, who played alongside Brady and under Belichick in New England during his first five NFL seasons (2003-07), has publicly denounced his former coach numerous times since Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.
"I don't understand why is it such a big drop off when one man leaves the 53-man roster -- why is it such a big dropoff and you can't replace it but you're supposed to be a great coach?" Samuel told TMZ Sports.
In July, Samuel reignited his apparent longstanding apparent feud with Belichick when asked by former NFL cornerback and current CBS Sports reporter Bryant McFadden if the 71-year-old was the best coach in NFL history.
“Absolutely not,” Samuel said. “Are you crazy? Look at his record without Tom [Brady]. You got to win without Tom. One thing I learned about being great, you have to be great in different situations. “It was all Tom, I was there, I saw it, it was Tom.”
“Everybody know it, Tom know it,” Samuel added. “But he ain’t gonna admit because he wanna be politically correct. That’s why I’m here. Imma tell the truth… I’ve been there, I’ve seen him, I’ve confronted him, that’s how I do.”
Samuel had previously referred to Belichick as "just another coach" months after Brady led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory during his first season away from the Patriots.
"Cold blooded is a [sic] understatement! But without Brady he is just another coach in my opinion," Samuel tweeted in response to ESPN's Louis Riddick, who tweeted that Belichick "is cold blooded and will do what he thinks he has to do," in response to news of the Patriots releasing Cam Newton and announcing Jones, a rookie at the time, as their starting quarterback.
The four-time Pro Bowler had also claimed he "made Belichick understand the cornerback position better and how to make plays in any coverage" in June 2020.
"He never agreed with the way I played but now he teaches it," Samuel tweeted.
"I think Bill Belichick needed Tom to be successful. Do you think Tom needs Bill??? My answer is Nooo. Talk to me," Samuel tweeted.
Samuel's tenure with the Patriots ended on bad terms as he was forced to play his final year under the franchise tag and then left as a free agent after dropping a would-be game-securing interception during Super Bowl XLII, which would have given New England a perfect season. Brady and Belichick are arguably the greatest quarterback-coaching duo in NFL history, having won a record six Super Bowls together with the Patriots -- tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most of any NFL franchise -- before Brady signed with the Buccaneers and led the franchise to a win in Super Bowl LV.
Brady announced his retirement in February prior to becoming a free agent and could still sign with any NFL team as his purchase of an ownership stake in the Las Vegas Raiders is still pending league approval. The San Mateo native is the NFL's all-time passing leader for yards and touchdowns, as well as quarterback wins, among numerous other records and his seven Super Bowl championship victories are more than any other NFL player or team.