- After redshirting his freshman year, Brady was frustrated with his playing time
- Carr convinced Brady to stay in Ann Arbor and compete with his teammates
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While Tom Brady’s greatness as a quarterback is not in question, the seven-time Super Bowl winner’s career trajectory could have gone differently if not for a life-altering decision he made as a college player.
Brady considered transferring out of Michigan before his coach Lloyd Carr convinced him to stay in Ann Arbor, according to Yahoo Sports.
Frustrated after not seeing the field as a redshirt freshman, Brady was buried in the Wolverines’ depth chart for the two years that followed. During this stretch, Brady reportedly went into Carr’s office and asked to be released so he can explore transfer options.
‘It’ll be the biggest mistake of your life,’ Carr told Brady, per Yahoo.
‘You came here to be the best,’ Carr added. ‘You came here because of the great competition. If you walk away now, you’ll always wish you had stayed and tried to compete. You’ll always wonder what would have happened if you stayed.’
Tom Brady asked to be released from Michigan after getting frustrated with his lack of minutes
Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr convinced Brady to compete instead of transferring
Brady went on to win seven Super Bowls while widely considered the greatest quarterback
After thinking it over, Brady returned to Carr’s office and vowed to work his way up and compete.
Brady appeared in 23 games in his last two years in Michigan before getting selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. Two years later, Brady won his first Super Bowl with the New England Patriots and the rest was history.
Brady recalled the conversation in a 2020 interview with Howard Stern.
‘I went in and talked to Lloyd Carr. I said, ‘I don’t really think I’m going to get my chance here, I think I should leave,’ and he said, ‘Tom, I want you to stay, and I believe in you and I think you could be a good player, but you’ve got to start worrying about the things you can control,’ Brady shared.
While Brady did not have the most decorated college career, he would end up widely considered by many as the greatest of all time.
Aside from the seven titles, Brady was named the Super Bowl MVP five times, made 15 All-Pro appearances, and lead the NFL in passing touchdowns on five different occasions, among many accolades.
‘When he said that he wanted me there,’ Brady continued. ‘I went to bed that night, I woke up the next day, and I figured, you know what, if I’m going to be — and I still feel this way today — in a team sport, you’ve got to sacrifice what you want individually for what’s best for the team.
‘So if you’re not the best guy, it’s a disservice for the team if you’re forced to somehow play. My feeling was, if I’m going to be the best, I’ve got to beat out the best and if the best competition’s at Michigan, I’ve got to beat those guys out if I’m going to play. I ended up committing to be the best.’