Tom Brady is congratulated by former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe after New England won the AFC championship game over Baltimore in January 2012. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

When it comes to the New England Patriots, the next few months are going to be dominated by the Tom Brady watch.

Will he stay? Will he go? Will he retire?

In that light, it was interesting to read remarks by Drew Bledsoe from an appearance on CBS Radio’s “The Zach Gelb Show” where he suggested Brady might feel rejuvenated by a fresh start with a new team.

Speaking with Bledsoe on Tuesday to examine that premise further, the Patriots Hall of Fame quarterback indicated that while he didn’t want to speak for Brady, from his experience, leaving New England and starting over in a new location after nine years was invigorating for him.

“When I got to Buffalo, it was a totally new spot. It was a new team, a new organization, new coaches, new players, and in some ways it was energizing,” said Bledsoe, who was drafted No. 1 overall by the Patriots in 1993. “It kind of felt like I was a rookie again. I think when you’re in one place for a long time, and this applies to everything, not just sports, it can be kind of routine. It can become comfortable, and that’s great. It feels good.

“But when you start over, you kind of throw yourself into the deep end of the pool again,” Bledsoe went on. “It was sort of like when I left football and got into business. I was a rookie again. Taking on those new challenges can be energizing and inspiring in some ways.”

Of course, it was Bledsoe’s injury nearly 20 years ago that opened the door for Brady to take over the Patriots offense and become the greatest quarterback of all time, winning six Super Bowls, four Super Bowl MVPs, as well as two NFL MVPs. The Patriots had just signed Bledsoe to a 10-year, $103 million deal in 2001, but one hit by the Jets’ Mo Lewis altered the course of history.

Now, with Brady at age 42 and headed to free agency, the Patriots might be at a crossroads with respect to the quarterback position. Will they be able to reach a contractual accord with Brady, or do they feel it’s time to move on?

Bledsoe had just turned 30 when he was traded to the Bills. He played five more years between the Bills and Cowboys. Having watched many of the Patriots games from this season, he believes Brady is still capable of leading a team to the Promised Land.

“Even if you want to make the contention Tommy’s fastball is 10 percent down from where it was at its peak,” said Bledsoe, “it’s still plenty to get the job done from a physical standpoint.”

Bledsoe pointed to the lack of familiarity and experience with the receiving corps as the issue with the lack of effectiveness from the offense. Not so much an older quarterback being in decline.

“When you’re a pocket passer, you’re really relying on a lot of guys to be where they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be there,” said Bledsoe. “And you’re relying on the experience of watching them, and knowing their body language, building up a level of trust. Probably 99 percent of the time, you’re throwing the ball before you actually see where that guy’s going to catch the ball. You don’t see a guy open and throw it to him. That’s not how it works.

“So from an offensive efficiency standpoint, that was a bigger problem this year watching from the outside, the level of experience and trust with a relatively new receiving corps.”

While Bledsoe agreed the same issue would come up in a new location with new receivers, a lot of it depends on the receiver, and how quickly a quarterback can connect. Bledsoe recalled having instant chemistry with Terry Glenn. It just depends on the receiver.

“I immediately was able to develop a sense of where he was going to be, and understood the body language, and was able to throw and anticipate where he was going to be,” said Bledsoe. “So it can change with different guys, based on their experience level and relative talent.”

As for the appeal to Brady or Bill Belichick of trying to win without the other, Bledsoe said that was an interesting dynamic to the whole equation. He didn’t know it to be true, but that it was just human nature.

“I think they’ve been together for so long, there may be a sense of wanting to see what they could do without the other guy, see what they can do without their partner in crime,” said Bledsoe. “Musicians that are part of a band for a long time embark on solo careers … it’s just a normal, human nature component to this thing.”

Whatever happens, Bledsoe, who runs a successful winery in Walla Walla, Washington, doesn’t believe the dynasty ended with his old friend Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans eliminating the Patriots Saturday in the first round. He still sees life, whether Brady returns or not.

“People have been burying the dynasty for what, like 15 years?” he said. “It seems like it’s been a consistent story forever and ever. But when you look at what’s allowed them to be successful, it’s not about one person, or even a group of people.

“You’ve seen Hall of Fame football players come and go, assistant coaches come and go. The system and the way they do things … which starts at the top with Mr. Kraft,” Bledsoe continued. “If I were to gamble, I would put money on them winning the Super Bowl next year regardless of who’s there because they’re able to, with the system. They’re able to succeed year in and year out.”

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