FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — After 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, quarterback Tom Brady has opted for a change of scenery, tweeting Tuesday morning that his “football journey will take place elsewhere.”
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Brady’s last contract with the Patriots voided at the beginning of the NFL’s legal tampering period, which began on Monday at noon. And while New England had a nearly two-month headstart on other teams to sign Brady, the soon-to-be 43-year-old quarterback has decided to take his talents elsewhere.
It’s unclear where Brady is headed, particularly as the Titans, considered a top destination, recently signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a four-year deal.
Speculation has swirled for months on if the 2019 season would be Brady’s last with the Patriots. And following a 12-4 season where the team won another AFC East title but were eliminated in the Wild Card Round for the first time in more than a decade, Brady’s career with New England has indeed come to a close.
Later on Tuesday morning, Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick released statements through the Patriots’ Twitter account.
“I love Tom like a son and I always will,” Kraft said. “Unfortunately, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement to allow [Tom to end his career in New England.]”
Kraft was a relatively new owner of the Patriots when Brady was drafted and the pair, along with Belichick, oversaw the rise of the Pats’ dynasty.
“Tom was not just a player who bought into our program. He was one of its original creators,” Belichick said in a statement. “Nothing about the end of Tom’s Patriots career changes how unfathomably spectacular it was.”
Despite the disappointing end to the 2019 campaign, Brady’s tenure in New England has been unmatched by any player in the 100-year history of the National Football League.
In the time since his arrival in Foxborough, Brady-led squads have missed the postseason just one time, in 2002. All 17 times the Patriots have qualified for the playoffs since Brady’s arrival in New England, they have done so as the AFC East Champions, including in each of the last 11 seasons – an NFL record.
Brady and the Patriots have racked up a seemingly unquantifiable amount of NFL records during the last two decades in Foxborough. Starting at the top, his six Super Bowl titles are the most by any player in league history, while the Patriots as a team are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history (6).
On top of that, Brady has racked up more Super Bowl MVPs (4), division titles (17), playoff wins (30), playoff starts (41), regular-season wins (219) and Super Bowl appearances (9) than any other player in NFL history.