Tom Brady is leaving the Patriots.
Where is he going? To be decided, but the NFL will never look the same.
Brady, 42, announced via social media on Tuesday morning that he is finished in New England after 20 seasons, six Super Bowl wins in nine appearances and three MVPs.
“I don’t know what the future holds,” Brady wrote, “but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career.”
Unless Brady has a trick up his sleeve – anything is possible now – his market is headed by the Buccaneers and Chargers, two teams who finished well out of the playoff race last season.
NFL Network reported both teams made “strong offers” to Brady, “believed to be” in excess of $30 million per year.
“Tommy initiated contact last night & came over. We had a positive, respectful discussion. It’s not the way I want it to end, but I want him to do what is in his best personal interest,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft told ESPN. “After 20 years with us, he has earned that right. I love him like a son”
Even with the genius of Bill Belichick stalking the sidelines, it is difficult to see this as anything but the end of the Patriots dynasty. The Patriots won 16 of the last 17 AFC East titles, only missing out during the season Brady missed all but one game due to injury.