FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has pulled off some surprising trades in his 17-year tenure, most recently shipping Pro Bowl linebacker Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns, and quarterback Tom Brady acknowledged Wednesday that it could also happen to him in the future.
"You can't be around this long and not realize that the world will keep spinning and the sun will come up tomorrow without you. That's just the way it goes," Brady said Wednesday before the team's final practice of its bye week.
"I think you enjoy the experiences that you have, but also understand that it just keeps going on. It could happen to anybody. You just have to show up to work, do the best you can do every day and let your performance just try to speak for itself."
Brady, 39, is the team's longest-tenured player and he's seen plenty of surprising transactions in that time, going back to the release of safety Lawyer Milloy in 2003 and including trades of top players like Deion Branch (2006), Richard Seymour (2009), Logan Mankins (2014), Chandler Jones (2016) and now Collins.
Brady described the process that has helped him move forward after those surprising decisions.
"I've had a lot of great relationships with all those guys. I still do, and I don't think that ever changes, but you also understand there is always change in the NFL. It's a challenging part of it. I think the older you get, the more you see. The more you understand, the faster you can process that. That's just the way it has to go," he said.
"The changes take place in the offseason, they take place in training camp; you could very easily lose a player to injury. It's always changing and evolving and it's a challenging part about the NFL, but it's definitely inevitable. Everyone is still going to be in touch with [Jamie]. He's our friend for life, so that doesn't change."