Let’s take a time machine to 2000. Boy bands are everywhere, flip phones are the best technology, your movie night is a trip to Blockbuster, and a little-known quarterback named Tom Brady hasn’t NFL pass kicked yet. Flash forward 23 years, and this player who fell in the sixth round is now the greatest ever to do so.
Of those 23 years, 20 were spent with the New England Patriots and owner Robert Kraft. Together, with Bill Belichick and a long list of players, they have won six Super Bowls, created two dynasties and been part of some of the greatest teams of all time.
Brady is now retired “for good”, marking his second retirement announcement on February 1, the last in 2022. As former coaches, teammates, media and fans comment on TB12’s careerhis former owner also stepped in with compliments for the 45-year-old and a contract offer.
When asked if he would sign Brady to a one-day deal so the 45-year-old can retire as a Patriot, the owner replied (via the team’s official website): ” I will tomorrow.”
“Not only do I want him, but our fans want him and for us he always has been and always will be a patriot,” Kraft continued. “We will do everything in our power to bring him back, sign as a patriot and find ways to honor him for many years to come. He has done so much to bring life and good humor to our community and he’s a beloved figure and he’s earned the respect and love that people feel for him like no other athlete in our city and we’ve had some great ones.”
Kraft said he doubts anyone can match Brady’s impressive NFL career.
“I don’t believe in the century-old history of the NFL, there was a quarterback like Tom. I would find it hard to believe there would be another,” Kraft said (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com).
Brady’s career will certainly be difficult, if not impossible, to top. If you broke down his career by decade, each is worthy of a place in the Hall of Fame. He has won seven Super Bowls, more than any other player or franchise, and holds countless assists, wins and playoff records.
“I’m so proud of Tommy,” Kraft added later in a team statement. “He’s accomplished everything there is to accomplish in this game, and so much more. No player in NFL history has done it as well in as long as Tom Brady. He’s the toughest competitor in the game. fiercest 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 are not enough to express the gratitude of my family, the New England Patriots and our fans for all that he has done. It has been a blessing for me to watch him grow, first in as a young professional on the pitch, but more importantly, as one of the most loving, caring and passionate players I have ever known and I will always consider him part of our family.”
In an accompanying statement, Bill Belichick called Brady the “ultimate winner” and “leaves as the most successful player in league history.”