The end of an era in the NFL is upon as, as Tom Brady announced on Tuesday morning that he would leave the New England Patriots in free agency. After 20 seasons and six world championships, the greatest quarterback of all time will take his talents elsewhere and wear a new uniform for the first time in his legendary professional career — one that will end in the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day no matter what the future holds.
Brady, meanwhile, shared his thoughts in a long social media post — thanking the Patriots’ coaches, ownership and teammates. The 42-year-old had to say the following about his decision to leave the club:
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 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 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 place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for 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.
In a separate statement, Brady also thanked the Patriots fans that have supported him for the past two decades:
I wanted to say thank you to all of the incredible fans and Patriots supporters. MA has been 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 every 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 honorable way, and I fought hard with my teammates 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 from the bottom of my heart and I will always love you and what we have shared — a lifetime full of fun memories.