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Tom Brady 1, Bill Belichick 0.

Fair or not, that’s the perception. Brady left the Patriots, landed with the Buccaneers, helped put together a Superteam, and and won the Super Bowl. The Patriots failed to even make the playoffs.

Sure, they may not have made the playoffs if Brady had stayed. But that doesn’t matter. The Patriots failed to make it without Brady, and Brady won a Super Bowl without the Patriots.

As Bucs coach Bruce Arians indicated in comments made to SI.com before the Super Bowl, Brady had something to prove.

“Tom is playing for his teammates right now,” Arians said. “He wants those guys to experience what he’s experienced six times. I think personally, too, he’s making a statement, you know? It wasn’t all coach [Bill] Belichick.”

Statement made by Brady, the Patriots can’t stand silent. The pressure lands squarely on the Patriots to address the quarterback position in a meaningful way. Cam Newton isn’t the answer. Jarrett Stidham isn’t the answer. Brian Hoyer isn’t the answer.

So who will it be? A return of Jimmy Garoppolo? A reunion with Jacoby Brissett? A trade for a veteran from another team? A free agent? A rookie?

Whatever the Patriots do, there will be only more scrutiny in 2021. Especially with the slate of eight home games including a homecoming for a prodigal son who has managed to kill the fatted calf on his own.