New England Patriots Have One Last Request for Tom Brady: 'We Will Do Everything in Our Power to Bring Him Back'
Love him or hate him, it’s hard to argue against the fact that Tom Brady has been one of the most wildly successful quarterbacks in NFL history.
It’s also hard to not uncouple Brady from the New England Patriots, despite the just-retired quarterback having won his most recent Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The 45-year-old Brady, after all, helped win six Super Bowls while a Patriot, going through incredible highs (six Super Bowl wins) and incredible lows (Deflategate, the Tuck Rule, 18-1). It’s almost familial the amount of drama that Brady and the Patriots had to go through together.
When Brady announced his retirement from football on Wednesday via social media posts, many fans had already penciled Brady in as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, with a bust in Canton, Ohio, all but assured.
Truly grateful on this day. Thank you 🙏🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/j2s2sezvSS
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) February 1, 2023
Unlike his 40-day retirement last year, Brady swore in the video that this retirement was “for good.”
While the Hall of Fame voting will be a minute (the earliest Brady can enter the Hall of Fame is 2028), it does appear to be a foregone conclusion that Brady’s Canton bust will be of him wearing a Patriots jersey, given how long he played for New England (20 seasons) versus Tampa Bay (three seasons).
But again — nothing is set in stone.
In spite of, or perhaps due to, the lack of clarity surrounding that, Patriots owner Robert Kraft took to CNN to ask one last thing of the man who had already helped turn the Patriots from a laughingstock to a dynasty.
“We will do everything in our power to bring him back, have him sign off as a Patriot and find ways to honor him for many years to come,” Kraft told CNN, revealing that he wants Brady to sign a one-day contract with the Patriots so he can officially retire “as a Patriot.”
“Not only do I want it, our fans are clamoring for it,” Kraft said. “To us, he is always has been and always will be a Patriot.”
Indeed, Brady’s statistical output — even sans any Super Bowl wins — in New England alone would likely have qualified him for the Hall of Fame.
Even if you removed his Super Bowl win and final three seasons with the Bucs, Brady was able to accrue the following: 74,541 passing yards, 541 passing touchdowns, and a 63.8 completion percentage.
There’s a reason some NFL pundits feel that Brady could’ve easily qualified for the Hall of Fame on three separate resumes:
Tom Brady in his 20’s:
21,564 passing yards
147 passing TD
3 Super Bowl wins
Tom Brady in his 30’s:
40,018 passing yards
309 passing TD
2 Super Bowl wins
Tom Brady in his 40’s:
27,632 passing yards
193 passing TD
2 Super Bowl wins
A Hall of Fame resumé in each decade.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 1, 2023
Kraft, for his part, has never been shy about his outsized adulation for Brady, so it’s little surprise that he wants to bring the retired quarterback for one last (ceremonial) run. Kraft’s initial statements after Brady’s retirement announcement were of the gushing variety.
“No player in NFL history has done it as well for as long as Tom Brady. He is the fiercest competitor I have ever known and the ultimate champion.”
Robert Kraft on @TomBrady’s retirement: https://t.co/TZDa1afDic
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) February 1, 2023
“I am so proud of Tommy. He has accomplished everything there is to achieve in this game, and so much more,” Kraft said in a statement on Wednesday. “No player in NFL history has done it as well for as long as Tom Brady. He is the fiercest competitor I have ever known and the ultimate champion. He led the Patriots to two decades of unprecedented dominance. He is truly the greatest of all time.
“Words cannot adequately express the gratitude my family, the New England Patriots and our fans have for everything he has done. It’s been a blessing for me to watch him grow, first as a young professional on the field, but most importantly, as a person off it. He is one of the most loving, caring and passionate players I have ever known and I will always consider him a part of our family.”
As for what’s next for Brady, his mostly-charmed life continues as he will be going from playing in the NFL to commentating on it for Fox — all the while being paid a tidy $375 million.
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