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Tom Brady Will Not Return to the Patriots Next Season

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FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 04: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots signals to teammates during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Tom Brady will no longer be a New England Patriot. That's a weird sentence to think about.

The 42-year-old quarterback shared a statement Tuesday morning detailing his desire to move on from Massachusetts.

"I don't know what my football future holds but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career," he wrote.

https://twitter.com/TomBrady/status/1239895697207549952

Reflecting on his 20 seasons with the Pats, Brady made it a point to acknowledge all the success and good fortune he's seen. "It has truly been the happiest two decades I could have envisioned in my life and I have nothing but love and gratitude for my time in New England," he wrote. "The support has been overwhelming – I wish every player could experience it."

Having appeared in nine Super Bowls (most in NFL history), won six (most in NFL history) and set numerous other records (most regular season wins of any quarterback, most playoff wins), Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.

He's 100% the best player and quarterback to ever wear a Patriots uniform, so he's especially cherished among Boston sports fans.

You can see how the Pats, Red Sox and Bruins celebrated his career below.

https://twitter.com/Patriots/status/1239960189924782080

https://twitter.com/RedSox/status/1239953191275507712

https://twitter.com/NHLBruins/status/1239959977726525441

With his decision not to return to the Pats, Brady becomes one the most sought-after players in this year's free agency class, which officially kicked off on Monday, March 16. Some of the top teams vying for him include: the Las Vegas Raiders, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

According to early reports, the Bucs seem to be a front-runner as GM Jason Licht began discussions with Brady on Monday.

https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/1239959138467266566

Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He had a respectable résumé after two seasons as the starting QB for the University of Michigan, but he wasn't high on anyone's radar and ended up falling to the 199th pick.

You can't totally blame the other teams for overlooking him, though. Just check out this hilarious photo of Brady looking like a total average Joe ahead of the 2000 Draft. 😂

https://twitter.com/TomBrady/status/1118192890327576580

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