In two emotional posts on his social-media accounts titled “Forever a Patriot,” the future Hall of Fame quarterback on Tuesday morning paid tribute to everyone he’s worked with at the Patriots over the past two decades before declaring his undying love for the team’s fans.
“Although my football journey will take place elsewhere,” he wrote, “I appreciate everything we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments. I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to know each and every one of you, and to have the memories we have created together.”
In his second post addressed to the fans, Brady went on: “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.”
Although the 42-year-old said his football career would continue, he didn’t reveal where he plans to play, writing: “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.” The NFL Network Insider reported Monday that the Los Angeles Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made offers for Brady.
Free agents can’t officially change teams until Wednesday, though plenty of agreements pending physicals are already in place.
Brady was a sixth-round draft pick out of the University of Michigan in 2000, and became a starter a year later. Since then, he’s led the Patriots to nine Super Bowls, with the most recent title coming after the 2018 season.
Brady will inevitably become a Hall of Famer after his retirement, and ranks second only to Drew Brees on the NFL’s career list for completions, passing yards, and touchdowns. He’s also won a record four Super Bowl MVP awards and three NFL MVP awards.
Brady has had a longstanding friendship with President Donald Trump, saying back in 2015 during the presidential campaign: “Donald is a good friend of mine. I have known him for a long time. I support all my friends. That is what I have to say. He’s a good friend of mine. He’s always been so supportive of me.”
Trump once even went as far as offering up his daughter Ivanka to Brady on Howard Stern’s radio show, and said in 2004: “I think Tom’s a great guy, and I think he and Ivanka would make a great combination.”