Tom Brady tells Howard Stern he knew before the start of 2019 season ‘that it was my last year’ in New England

Tom Brady and the Patriots will forever be linked to one another in the great, big history book of the NFL. The two sides put together the greatest run the league has ever seen, winning six Super Bowls and allowing Brady to ascend into becoming the greatest quarterback to have ever played the spot. Everything does come to an end, however, and Brady and New England are no different. 

The 42-year-old hit free agency this offseason for the first time in his career and ultimately decided to ink a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, effectively putting an end to the league’s most prolific dynasty. The decision was hardly an easy one for Brady, as he explained to SiriusXM’s Howard Stern on Wednesday. He admitted that he didn’t even come to a “final, final decision” until he actually went over to owner Robert Kraft’s house to deliver him the news that he’d be leaving. 

“I called Mr. Kraft and I went over to his house,” Brady explained to Stern. “I went over and I just said, ‘Look, I just want to say how much I love you and I appreciate what we’ve done together and I know that we’re not going to continue together, but thank you. Thank you for providing what you have for my family and for my career.’ “

Both Kraft and Brady also called Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and discussed the quarterback’s intentions. Logistically, Brady couldn’t connect face-to-face with Belichick, but wanted to tell him the news alongside Kraft before he possibly heard it from a third party.

“I was able to call Coach Belichick at the same time and thank him,” Brady continued. “It was great. I mean, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.” 

While Brady didn’t know for sure he was pulling the cord on his time with the Patriots until right before he did it, the quarterback did have an inkling that the 2019 season would be his last year with the Patriots as far back as last summer, when he restructured his contract that would make him a free agent.  

“I probably knew before the start of last season that it was my last year,” he said. “I knew that our time was coming to an end.” 

As one would imagine, closing the door on a two-decade long run with one team was an emotional endeavor. 

“Yeah, I was crying,” he said. “I’m a very emotional person. I have a deep caring for the people I work with and I wish nothing but the best for them.”     

“… There’s no bigger fan of the New England Patriot organization than me. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that I could continue to play there at the highest level. I want to still prove to myself that I can play at the highest level.” 

Brady relayed that he doesn’t have any ill-will towards Bill Belichick or the Patriots and that it was simply time for both sides to move on. 

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