Tom Brady said after Saturday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans that it is “pretty unlikely” he will retire this offseason, but the 42-year-old quarterback is more certain about his future now that he has taken a few days to think it over.
In a lengthy post on social media Wednesday, Brady thanked New England Patriots fans for the “unconditional support” they have shown over the past 20 years. While he stopped short of saying he wants to remain with the team, he did confirm he is not planning to retire.
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I just wanted to say to all of our fans, THANK YOU! After a few days of reflection, I am so grateful and humbled by the unconditional support you have shown me the past two decades. Running out of that tunnel every week is a feeling that is hard to explain. I wish every season ended in a win, but that’s not the nature of sports (or life). Nobody plays to lose. But the reward for working hard is just that, the work!! I have been blessed to find a career I love, teammates who go to battle with me, an organization that believes in me, and fans who have been behind us every step of the way. Every one of us that works at Gillette Stadium strived to do their best, spent themselves at a worthy cause, and prepared to fail while daring greatly (h/t Teddy Roosevelt). And for that, we’ve been rewarded with something that the scoreboard won’t show – the satisfaction of knowing we gave everything to each other in pursuit of a common goal. That is what TEAM is all about. In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.
“In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again … And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove,” Brady wrote.
So that settles one half of the equation. Brady has maintained for years that he plans to play until he is 45, and he will turn 43 just before the start of next season. We should not be surprised that he is sticking to that timeline.
Now, the big question is whether or not Brady will remain with the Patriots. He wanted a multi-year deal from the team last offseason but instead settled for a reworked contract that prohibits New England from placing the franchise tag on him. That means Brady is eligible to become a free agent in March for the first time in his career, and there is a growing belief that he could leave the Patriots if they won’t commit to him with at least a two-year deal.
Robert Kraft said recently that he hopes Brady either re-signs with the Patriots or retires, but Brady has essentially ruled out the latter. At least one of the quarterback’s former teammates thinks Brady could be intrigued by the idea of leaving New England, and there have been some strong signs that he is preparing himself to do just that.
Of course, Brady would be a lot more likely to stick with the Patriots if they built a stronger offense around him. Their receiving corps was a revolving door this season, and things fell apart once they traded Josh Gordon and the Antonio Brown experiment blew up in their faces. Bill Belichick has given some of his typical responses when asked about Brady’s future, but the coach’s best chance at reaching the Super Bowl next season is bringing Brady back with an improved supporting cast.
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