Adam Levine announced that he wouldn’t be returning to ‘The Voice’ yesterday, and it turns out that decision could have been months in the making.

After news broke yesterday that Adam Levine, 40, won’t be returning to The Voice after being a judge for 16 seasons, HollywoodLife heard EXCLUSIVELY from a source close to Adam that the departure was thought about for quite some time. “After the fallout from the Super Bowl and people not liking that performance and giving him a lot of grief for that, and adding the fact that people didn’t like how he dealt with his contestants in the past, it was time for him to take a break from the show,” our insider revealed. “He saw the writing on the wall that people were souring on him. So for the benefit of his career, he chose to leave so people will hopefully miss him. So when he comes back with new music or appears somewhere else people will be excited again to see him. He feels he has oversaturated himself.”

A couple of weeks before the announced departure, Adam had filmed the season 16 semifinals for The Voice on May 12. He had no contestants left in the competition, which reportedly made him not want to be present at the taping at all. “[Adam] expressed frustration beforehand at having to be present when, at that point, he had no artists left in the Season 16 race. And he did not hide his frustration,” a source told our sister site TVLine. An eyewitness from the taping also revealed that Adam was “very difficult,” refusing to offer feedback to the other judges’ contestants.

Another point of contention for Adam could’ve been the rule change on the show in the 16th season which didn’t guarantee that each judge would have contestants at the live playoffs. “I still don’t understand how you’re not on my team,” Adam said during the semifinals taping. “I don’t think anybody does, just ’cause it’s weird how it works now. I’m still learning the rules of the new show.”

Prior to the premiere of the 16th season on Feb. 25,  Adam performed at the Super Bowl Half Time Show on Feb. 3, with many dragging him and his band Maroon 5 online for the underwhelming performance. Hopefully Adam finds the break he desires from being “oversaturated” and can enjoy the downtime. We’ll look forward to his comeback, in whatever form it takes!