Tom Brady retires: Future Hall of Fame QB omits Patriots from official goodbye statement

You’ve probably heard by now, but Tom Brady sort of did a thing. The future first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback is officially calling it a career — retiring from the NFL after 22 seasons. His list of accomplishments is long enough to wrap around the Earth nine times, and his most recent include leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl win since the turn of the century. As such, it would make sense he’d give them glaring mention in his official goodbye statement, but it’s who he did not include that has raised a multitude of eyebrows.

In his eight-page dissertation released on Tuesday morning via his Instagram account, Brady offers not a single word about the Patriots, and it has many wondering why. After all, he spent the first 20 years of his career in Boston in a longtime marriage with head coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft, the triumvirate going on to win six Super Bowls together, and making him an icon who was viewed as the GOAT before he ever stepped a toe in the balmy waters of Central Florida.

It goes without saying Brady does nothing unintentionally, and it was always possible he’d offer a separate message altogether for the Patriots but, to his credit, even if he didn’t/doesn’t — he technically already has. Two offseason ago, he took to Twitter with the following statement, on his way out of New England via free agency.

“To all my teammates, coaches, executives and staff, Coach Belichick, RKK and the Kraft family and the entire organization. I want to say thank you for the past 20 years of my life and the daily commitment to winning and creating a winning culture built on great values. I am grateful for all that you have taught me — I have learned from everyone. You all have allowed me to maximize my potential and that is all a player can ever hope for. Everything we have accomplished brings me great joy and the lessons I have learned will carry on with me forever. 

“I couldn’t be the man I am today without the relationships you have allowed me to build with you. I have benefited from all of you have given me. I cherished every opportunity I had to be a part of our team, and I love you all for that. Our team has always set a great standard in pro sports and I know it will continue to do just that. Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments. I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to know each and everyone of you, and to have the memories we’ve created together.”

That said, and combined with the Patriots honoring him in his return to Gillette Stadium in 2021, you’d be hard-pressed to believe there’s any sort of ongoing rift between the two. And despite having not seen the Patriots mentioned in Brady’s latest goodbye, Kraft was undeterred in providing his own congratulations to his former quarterback for a historic NFL career in an official press release.

“Word cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady, nor adequately express the gratitude my family, the New England Patriots and our fans have for Tom for all he did during his career. A generation of football fans have grown up knowing only an NFL in which Tom Brady dominated. He retires with nearly every NFL career passing record, yet the only one that ever mattered to him was the team’s win-loss record. 

“In his 20 years as a starter, his teams qualified for the playoffs 19 times. He led his teams to 10 Super Bowls, winning an NFL-record seven championships. In a team sport like football, it is rare to see an individual have such a dominant impact on a team’s success. You didn’t have to be a Patriots fan to respect and appreciate his competitiveness, determination and will to win that fueled his success. As a fan of football, it was a privilege to watch. As a Patriots fan, it was a dream come true. 

“I have the greatest respect for Tom personally and always will. His humility, coupled with his drive and ambition, truly made him special. I will always feel a close bond to him and will always consider him an extension of my immediate family.”

Brady would go on to acknowledge the Patriots on Tuesday by offering a digital embrace to Kraft.

The 44-year-old leaves the NFL as arguably the greatest of all time, and while not mentioning the Patriots in his latest address will carry some headlines, it will never change what the two accomplished together. And considering he’s already given them their flowers, as noted in his 2020 statement, this time around his focus was clearly on presenting Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers with theirs.

Next stop: Canton, Ohio in 2027.

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