Tom Brady announced this morning he is leaving the New England Patriots after 20 seasons and six Super Bowl titles, saying his football journey “will take place elsewhere.”
Brady made the announcement on his Instagram account while thanking team owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick.
“To all my teammates, coaches, executives and staff, Coach Belichick, RKK, and the Kraft family and the entire organization. I want to say thank you for the past twenty years of my life and the daily commitment to winning and creating a winning culture built on great values. I am grateful for all that you have taught me – I have learned from everyone. You all have allowed me to maximize my potential and that is all a player can hope for. Everything we have accomplished brings me great joy and the lessons I have learned will carry on with me forever. I couldn’t be the man I am today without the relationships you have allowed me to build with you. I have benefited from all you have given me. I cherished every opportunity I had to be a part of our team, and I love you all for that. Our team has always set a great standard in pro sports and I know it will continue to do just that.
“Although my football journey will take play elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments. I have been privileged to have the opportunity to know each and everyone of you, and to have the memories we’ve created together.”
The lengthy posted was captioned: “FOREVER A PATRIOT.”
The Patriots selected Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft out of Michigan. He got a chance to start for the team in his second season in 2001 when Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury. He took the reins from there and never looked back. He helped the Patriots to a Super Bowl and firmly put himself into the driver’s seat of the offense and the organization.
Brady won the NFL MVP award three times with New England, was selected to the Pro Bowl 14 times and was an All-Pro three times. He was named the 2009 AP Comeback Player of the Year and won the AP Offensive Player of the Year award in 2007 and 2010.
The noise about Brady potentially leaving the Patriots began during the 2019 season. While the rumblings were small, Brady didn’t exactly commit to playing for the Patriots in 2020 while talking to reporters in training camp in August. He acknowledged that he had one year on his deal left but said: “we’ll see what happens.” He said that he plans to play until he was 45.
Brady and the Patriots won the AFC East title last season but were eliminated in the wild-card round of the playoffs. He had 4,057 passing yards and 24 touchdown passes in the 16 games.