Tom Brady leaving Patriots: Bill Belichick issues statement, calls Brady ‘greatest quarterback of all-time’

Tom Brady announced via social media on Tuesday that he will not return to the Patriots for the 2020 season. Brady, the Patriots’ sixth round pick way back in the 2000 draft, will begin his pursuit to find his next team when NFL free agency officially opens on Wednesday.

Shortly after Brady’s announcement, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who won six Super Bowls and nine AFC championships with Brady as his starting quarterback, issued the following statement.

“Tom was not just a player who bought into our program. He was one of its original creators. Tom lived and perpetuated our culture. 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.

“Tom and I will always have a great relationship built on love, admiration, respect and appreciation. Tom’s success as a player and his character as a person are exceptional. Nothing about the end of Tom’s Patriots career changes how unfathomably spectacular it was. With his relentless competitiveness and longevity, he earned everyone’s admiration and will be celebrated forever. It has been a privilege to coach Tom Brady for 20 years. 

“Examples of Tom’s greatness are limitless, going back even before he was drafted. We witnessed how he prepared when he wasn’t playing, how he performed when he got his opportunity, what he did to continuously improve, his leadership, his mindset, the example he set, and, of course, the person he is. I am extremely grateful for what he did for our team and for me personally.

“Sometimes in life, it takes some time to pass before truly appreciating something or someone but that has not been the case with Tom. He is a special person and the greatest quarterback of all-time.”

While they will go down as the most successful coach/quarterback duo of all-time, Brady and Belichick will now try to win their seventh Lombardi Trophy without one another.

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