Patriots owner Robert Kraft reacts to Tom Brady’s departure: ‘I had hoped this day would never come’

first_imgMORE TOM BRADY:Why he left Pats | Bill Belichick’s reactionKraft was the team owner when Brady was selected with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft, and he said earlier this offseason he hoped Brady would either remain with the Patriots or retire.But Kraft will not get his wish, having spoken with Brady on Monday and being informed of his intentions.”Tommy initiated contact last night and came over,” Kraft explained to ESPN. “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. After 20 years with us, he has earned that right. I love him like a son.” FOREVER A PATRIOT— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 17, 2020 Below is Kraft’s complete statement issued Tuesday:”How do I possibly sum up the depth of my gratitude to Tom Brady for what he’s given us these past 20 years, or the sadness I feel knowing it’s ending? I love Tom like a son and I always will. He has brought so much happiness to me personally and to all of our fans. I had hoped this day would never come, but rather that Tom would end his remarkable career in a Patriots uniform after yet another Super Bowl championship. Unfortunately, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement to allow that dream to become a reality. While sad today, the overwhelming feeling I have is appreciation for his countless contributions to our team and community.”When Tom arrived in New England as an unheralded, sixth-round pick, no one could have imagined the fairytale story that would be written, the records that would be broken or the joy he would bring to an entire region. He leaves 20 years later as the winningest quarterback in NFL history with six Super Bowl victories, nine AFC titles and 17 division championships. He has been an exemplary teammate and leader. There simply will never be another Tom Brady. I now look forward to the day we can bring him back home to New England to celebrate his Patriots career, his endless achievements and his legacy as the greatest of all time. I love him very much.”Brady said he does not “know what my football future holds,” though it is thought the Buccaneers and Chargers will be among those keen to acquire the veteran quarterback in free agency. Robert Kraft on Tuesday revealed his disappointment in Tom Brady’s departure from New England, but the Patriots owner stressed the long-serving quarterback has “earned that right” to decide to move on.Brady, 42, confirmed that his “football journey will take place elsewhere,” bringing an end to a glorious, two-decade run in New England that included six Super Bowl titles.last_img read more