Tom Brady will NOT be a Patriot next year. No, he isn't retiring. He is just moving on from the organization that he has played for and succeeded with for the past 20 years. A place where he won 6 Super Bowl rings, and had won the division title for 11 straight years. This is what he had to say:
FOREVER A PATRIOT
LOVE YOU PATS NATION
Let's break down his message. He is of course very thankful to everyone and everything that has been apart of his amazing run in New England. That makes sense to show appreciation for a great coach, teammates, and owner. They all helped him become who he is. Makes sense.
The weird part of the message is the fact that no one knows where Tom is going. He just states that it's time to continue his football journey elsewhere. Clearly, it has come down to Tampa Bay and LA. These two teams have the money and weapons that will draw Tom. My gut says LA since it's the closest he will ever get to playing for his beloved 49ers. He is a Cali kid and it will be a homecoming in a brand new stadium with weapons like Hunter Henry and Keenan Allen. Plus he will give us the added bonus of squaring off with Patrick Mahomes twice a year.
The last thing about the message I noticed was, it almost felt like Tom was trying to say he really had no choice. I have a feeling Belichicks lack of moves yesterday when the legal tampering started really sealed the deal for Brady. No new weapons, and I am sure a contract offer that wasn't up to snuff. Brady has always taken the team friendly deal, and I think for his last one he just wanted what he deserved. I can't blame him, he earned that right. Bill is who he is, and in the end probably made it clear that his offer and moves are what were the best for the team. If Tom didn't like it he could leave. So he is.
I will say this, as a non-Patriot fan it's weird to think Brady won't finish his career in New England. His last pass as a Pat will be a pick six. It doesn't feel right. Hate the Patriots all you want, but you have to agree. Someone with as storied a career as Brady shouldn't finish his tenure in New England on such a sour note. I guess, when looking at the all-time greats though, most don't get the storybook ending. Peyton had to leave the Colts, Montana left the 49ers, and now Brady leaves the Patriots. It's not how it should be, but that's the business of football.
His story will continue, but only time will tell if it was the right decision to leave.
UPDATE: Robert Krafts thoughts
Robert Kraft to ESPN: "Tommy initiated contact last night & came over. We had a positive, respectful discussion. It's not the way I want it to end, but I want him to do what is in his best personal interest. After 20 years with us, he has earned that right.
Still shocked, but like Kraft said, "He earned this right"