Eli Manning shocked about Tom Brady's departure from the Patriots

Eli Manning said Thursday he was as shocked as everybody else when he learned of Tom Brady’s departure from the New England Patriots.

Manning offered his thoughts on Brady joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Q&A with the New York Post,

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“I was surprised, how it all worked out,” Manning told the newspaper. “I just did not imagine him leaving, them letting him go and him going somewhere else, just from my experience. But for him to have had all the success, do everything he’d done in New England and did it with one organization, I guess you just kind of wonder what was the reasoning?

"I don’t know if he felt unappreciated, or just wanted to try something different, but was surprised that this went down,” he said.

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Manning, who retired after nearly two decades with the New York Giants, said he believes a big reason why Brady joined the Bucs is because of what they brought to the table at the wide receiver position. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin may arguably be the best duo in the entire NFL, and tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard will be viable options as well.

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However, Manning wouldn’t pencil them in as Super Bowl contenders right away.

“I never believed you can win the Super Bowl in March and April,” Manning said. “You kind of start the process. It’ll be interesting when teams’ll be able to get back together. They are missing the spring and missing time in practice and throwing together until a little bit later in the spring, that’s valuable time for a quarterback to kind of get on the same page and learn a new offense and figure that out.”