Tom Brady, the most accomplished player in NFL history with six Super Bowl championships, nine Super Bowl appearances and three regular-season MVP awards, is leaving the Patriots.
Brady who played in New England from 2000-19, announced on his Instagram account Tuesday morning that his career would continue elsewhere.
Elsewhere is Tampa, where Brady reportedly has agreed to a deal that pays him an estimated $30 million a season. Brady would replace former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston, who had a league-high 30 interceptions last season.
“To all my teammates, coaches, executives, and staff, coach Belichick, [Robert Kraft] 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,” Brady wrote. “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 …
“Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for your incredible TEAM accomplishments,” he said. “I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to know each and every one of you, and to have the memories we’ve created together.”
Brady had reworked his contract last year to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020 for the first time in his career.
"When Tom arrived in New England as an unheralded, sixth-round pick, no one could have imagined the fairytale story that would be written, the records that would be broken or the joy he would bring to an entire region," Kraft, the Patriots owner, said in a statement released by the team. "He leaves 20 years later as the winningest quarterback in NFL history with six Super Bowl victories, nine AFC titles and 17 division championships. He has been an exemplary teammate and leader. There simply will never be another Tom Brady.”
Brady has said he wants to play until he is 45, but coach Bill Belichick appears ready to move on without him. Together, Brady and Belichick have been by far the most successful quarterback-coach tandem in NFL history.
“Tom was not just a player who bought into our program. He was one of its original creators. Tom lived and perpetuated our culture," Belichick said in a statement released by the Patriots. "On a daily basis, he was a tone setter and a bar raiser. He won championships in three of his first four years on the field and in three of his final six seasons with us, while competing for championships in most every season in between. This is a credit to Tom’s consistency and what separates him. He didn’t just perform. He didn’t just win. He won championships over and over again.”
Brady is also the most successful player in NFL history, compiling a lengthy list of accomplishments along the way:
He won regular-season MVPs in 2007, 2010 and 2017.
His six Super Bowl titles are the most by any player, as are his nine Super Bowl appearances.
He is a four-time Super Bowl MVP.
He owns 15 Super Bowl records.
He played in a record 13 conference title games and won nine conference championships, the most in NFL history.
His 17 division championships are the most ever.
After a playoff loss to the Titans last season, in which his final pass was an interception returned for a touchdown by former teammate Logan Ryan, Brady had expressed hope he’d be back in New England. That will not be the case.
It’s uncertain what the Patriots will do at quarterback next season. The only other quarterbacks on the roster are Jarrett Stidham and Cody Kessler. There has been talk that Belichick will consider Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Saints backup Teddy Bridgewater has agreed to a deal with Carolina.
Very Brady numbers
Tom Brady spent 20 years as Patriots quarterback with a 30-11 playoff record, including 6-3 in the Super Bowl. His career statistics:
GAMES VS. JETS