Tom Brady confirmed he’s headed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a statement posted to Instagram Friday.
“Excited, humble and hungry …if there is one thing I have learned about football, it’s that nobody cares what you did last year or the year before that…you earn the trust and respect of those around through your commitment every single day,” Brady wrote. “I’m starting a new football journey and thankful for the @buccaneers for giving me an opportunity to do what I love to do.”
“I look forward to meeting all my new teammates and coaches and proving to them that they can believe and trust in me,” Brady continued. “I have always believed that well done is better than well said, so I’m gonna not gonna say much more – I’m just gonna get to work.”
On Tuesday morning, the star quarterback announced he was leaving the New England Patriots.
“I don’t know what my future holds, but it is time for me to open a new stage of my life and career,” Brady said Tuesday.
“I cherished every opportunity I had to be a part of our team,” he said of his 20-year run in New England.
The Patriots released statements from owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick following Brady’s announcement.
“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,” Kraft said.
While he “hoped this day would never come,” Kraft said he wanted to see Brady “end his remarkable career in a Patriots uniform” but both parties 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,” Kraft said.
Kraft continued, “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.”
As the Brady and Belicheck era comes to an end, the head coach said, “Sometimes in life, it takes some time to pass before truly appreciating something or someone but that has not been the case with Tom. He is a special person and the greatest quarterback of all-time.”
“Tom was not just a player who bought into our program. He was one of its original creators,” Belichick said. “He didn’t just perform. He didn’t just win. He won championships over and over again.”
He continued, “With his relentless competitiveness and longevity, he earned everyone’s adoration and will be celebrated forever. It has been a privilege to coach Tom Brady for 20 years.”
Monday marked the official start of free agency, when teams are permitted to negotiate with free agents from other clubs.
Free agent players, including Brady, were free to sign with any team once the new league year officially began at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
In the 2000 draft, he was the 199th pick overall.
Brady, 42, leaves New England with 41 playoff starts since 2001, has played in nine Super Bowls, won six and notched four Super Bowl MVP awards.
Among his many accomplishments, Brady also has three league MVP awards — 2007, 2010, 2017 — which according to ESPN ties him with Jim Brown, Brett Favre and Johnny Unitas. Peyton Manning holds the record for MVP titles.
With 541 touchdown passes with Patriots, Brady led the team to at least 12 regular-season wins 13 times, an all-time high.
Recently, Brady also became the first 42-year-old quarterback in NFL history to start every game in a regular season.