Tom Brady announces he is leaving New England Patriots

By Elisha Fieldstadt

Tom Brady on Tuesday morning announced he was leaving the New England Patriots, a team he has played with for two decades and helped usher to six Super Bowl victories.

In a pair of statements posted on Twitter and Instagram, Brady first thanked his team and his coaches in a tweet labeled "FOREVER A PATRIOT."

"To all my teammates, coaches, executives and staff, Coach Belichick, RKK and the Kraft family and the entire organization ... I couldn't be the man I am today without the relationships you have allowed me to build with you," Brady, 42, wrote.

"Our team has always set a great standard in pro sports and I know it will continue to do just that," he added. "Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments."

In Brady's second statement, titled "LOVE YOU PATS NATION," he addressed his fans.

"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.," Brady wrote.

"The support has been overwhelming - I wish every player could experience it," Brady said. "I can't thank you enough for the support of our team. The packed training camps and sold out stadiums are mostly the victory parades. I have been so blessed to share them with you all."

It's unclear where Brady will go. "I don't know what my football future holds but it is time for me to open up a new stage for my life and career," he said.

Teams were able to start legally contacting the agents of free agents on Monday at noon ET, but NFL free agency does not begin until Wednesday at 4 p.m.

A sign of Brady's possible departure came last August when he signed a two-year contract with the Pats that allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

NBC Sports reported that Brady spoke with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick earlier the month, but the two apparently could not agree on a deal.

Jarrett Stidham, 23, will be the team's new starting quarterback.

Brady, who was the 199th selection in the 2000 NFL Draft, took over for the Patriots' injured Drew Bledsoe in the second week of the 2001 season. He earned three league MVP Awards and and four Super Bowl MVP Awards with the team.

He didn't perform at his best in 2019, ending with pass attempt that was a pick six to cornerback Logan Ryan during the team's 2019 AFC Divisional Round loss to the Tennessee Titans.

But he broke topped or came close to topping a slew of league records during his career, including holding the record for the most Super Bowl wins by any player in league history and being one of only five NFL players to spend 20 years with one team.


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