Brady has spent his entire career with the franchise and won six Super Bowls. The quarterback, 42, has revealed he’s not retiring and will instead play for another team in the NFL.
In a statement Brady wrote: “To all my teammates, coaches, executives and staff, Coach Belichick, RKK and the Kraft family and the entire organisation, 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 have allowed me to maximise my potential and that is all a player can ever 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 benefitted 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 place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful to our incredible TEAM accomplishments.
‘I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to know each and everyone of you, and to have the memories we’ve created together.’
Brady was drafted by the Patriots out of the University of Michigan in 2000 and has gone on to build what is widely regarded as the greatest career for an NFL quarterback.
He has played in nine Super Bowls, winning six with the Patriots in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016 and 2018, the latter making him the oldest player to ever win a Super Bowl at the age of 41.
Brady signed a restructured contract prior to the 2019 season that prohibited the Patriots from applying the franchise tag, opening him to his first ever trip into free agency.
In a follow-up message aimed at his legions of fans, Brady added: ‘I wanted to say thank you to all of the incredible fans and Patriots supporters.
“MA has been my home for twenty years. It has truly been the happiest two decades I could have envisioned in my life and I have nothing but love and gratitude for my time in New England.
“The support has been overwhelming – I wish every player could experience it. My children were born and raised here and you always embraced this California kid as your own.
“I love your commitment and loyalty to your teams and winning for our city means more than you will ever know.
“I can’t thank you enough for the support of our team. The packed training camps and sold-out stadiums and mostly the victory parades. I have been so blessed to share them with you all.
“I tried to represent us always in the best and most honourable way, and I fought hard with my team-mates to help bring victory and triumph even in the most dire situations.
“You opened your heart to me, and I opened my heart to you. And Pats Nation will always be a part of me.
“I don’t know what my football future holds but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career.
“I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and I will always love you and what we have shared – a lifetime full of fun memories.’
The 199th pick in the 2001 draft, Brady turns 43 in August and said he wants to play at least two more seasons.
Brady has roots in San Mateo, California, promoting rumours he could return to the Golden State.
But the San Francisco 49ers have a starter in Jimmy Garoppolo, Brady’s former backup in New England who was traded by the Patriots, and committed to a $134 million deal just two years ago.
The Las Vegas Raiders have also been linked, but NFL Network say neither they of San Francisco are in the running at this time.
Published at Tue, 17 Mar 2020 13:50:00 +0000