In a series of personal statements that rocked the NFL world on Tuesday Morning, Patriots QB and Jets nemesis Tom Brady announced that he is leaving New England as a free agent.
Brady, whose future has been up in the air since the moment the 2019 season ended, will almost certainly wind up outside the AFC East, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers among the reported possibilities.
The first announcement from Brady was titled 'FOREVER A PATRIOT,' while the second one was directed to his fans.
Read both announcements in full below:
FOREVER A PATRIOT pic.twitter.com/QSBOJBs4uy- Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 17, 2020
LOVE YOU PATS NATION pic.twitter.com/lxSQZmnjPL- Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 17, 2020
A "tangible effort" was never made by the Patriots to sign Brady before he decided to leave, reports Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston, who said there was "no negotiation."
According to Albert Breer of NBC Sports Boston, there was hope as recently as Monday among those in the Pats organization that there would be a "summit" between Brady, head coach Bill Belichick, and perhaps owner Robert Kraft that could result in a reunion. That meeting never happened.
However, Brady did meet with Kraft alone, according to the owner.
"Tommy initiated contact last night and came over," Kraft told Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston. "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. I love him like a son"
The 43-year-old Brady now departs the Patriots, where he debuted in 2000, became the starter in 2001, and helped lead the Pats to six Super Bowl titles in 19 seasons as the starting QB.