When it comes to Tom Brady's childhood idols and people he looks up to most, not many are higher on that list than Joe Montana.
Ironically, Brady's career has mirrored Montana's almost perfectly -- Brady's six Super Bowls to Montana's four, and now Brady potentially leaving the team he's spent 20 years with to play for another one before he retires. After spending 1979-92 with the 49ers, Montana closed his career with the Chiefs from 1993-94.
So, when it comes to Brady potentially leaving the Patriots and playing for another team, Montana knows better than anyone what that might be like, and he doesn't think he should do it.
"Don't -- if you don't have to," Montana said to NFL Media's Michael Silver in a interview that will air on Super Bowl Sunday. "It's a process to go through, and it takes time to get used to the team. I was fortunate because (former 49ers quarterbacks coach) Paul Hackett was there running the offense, and so I was pretty familiar with probably three-quarters of the offense going in. And, if they let (Brady) have his own offense (with a new team), yeah, that makes it a little bit easier. But still, the transition of moving ...
"I just can't see how they would let him leave there, myself."
Montana said going to play quarterback for another team isn't as easy as it may seem.
"It's not easy to go to another team and get accepted, no matter how much success you've had and how many years you've played," he said. "They still want to see you come in and be the same player and be that loyal to them as you were to the other team you just left. So, it's not easy (for) guys looking at that change, especially at the quarterback position."
Brady, 42, is a free agent for the first time in his career and can sign with the Patriots at any time, while he cannot speak to other teams until the legal tampering period begins on March 16.