Tom Brady is so upset with all the ticky-tack fouls in the NFL these days ... he's officially dubbing the league as "softer" now.
The quarterback explained his stance on his 'Let's Go!' podcast with Jim Gray this week ... saying the way penalties are being called has changed the game completely, particularly for quarterbacks.
Brady says he believes guys like Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and other mobile signal-callers are thriving simply for the fact that defenders are more timid to hit now due to flag-happy refs.
"I think they're calling more penalties on defensive players for hitting, you know, for violent contact," Brady said. "There's a lot of plays and hits that are happening on quarterbacks now, that are flags for defensive players, that probably weren't that way 10 or 15 years ago."
"So I'd say the game is a little softer than it used to be."
Of course, this ain't the first time Tom has expressed some unhappiness with the league's direction this season ... just a few weeks ago he slammed the NFL for allowing defensive players to wear single-digit jersey numbers.
He also put himself firmly in the camp that criticized NFL officials this week for all of the excessive taunting penalties that were called on Sunday.
Hey, Tom is 44 years old now ... and whether you agree with him or not -- he's certainly earned the right to have some "get off my lawn" arguments at this point.