O'Neal shared his disappointment with Brady’s decision to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 20 years and six Super Bowl wins with the Patriots, blaming the organization for not offering him enough to stay.
“It just confirms that there is no loyalty in sports,” he said on the Scoop B Radio Podcast. “When you get older, They forget about you. The day I knew I was dog meat was when Michael Jordan left. ... There’s only a few people that can stay with one franchise for twenty or thirty years. The rest of us, we’re dog meat. They get what they want, and we move on. Because everyone wants to go younger.”
O'Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic before he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. He also played for the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.
He added: “You can go younger with the Patriots, but you’re not bringing in anyone even close to Tom Brady.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Brady had a conversation earlier this month regarding keeping him on the team, but he was only offered a one-year contract for less than what he made the previous season, according to multiple reports.
“What they should have did with Tom out of respect, say to him I love you, I’m going to give you a one year deal. And we’re going to make this your thank you time,” O'Neal said. “And say ‘Tom I know you want 30 million. We’re going to give you 30 million you done a lot, you might not start, because we gotta start getting younger.’ They should have that respectful conversation with him rather than not talking to him at all.”
Brady went on to sign a two-year, $50 million deal with the Buccaneers last week which prohibits the team from placing the franchise tag on him or trading him.