Since being drafted by the New England Patriots in 2000, Tom Brady has been a steady figure in the community throughout his career in New England.
One of his most proud initiatives was serving as the Honorary Co-Chair for the Best Buddies Challenge, a role he held for 16 years. He held an annual Best Buddies charity football game at Harvard Stadium, an event many teammates and other local athletes participated in each year.
This week, Tom Brady announced he would be stepping down from that position, handing the reins over to Guy Fieri and Massachusetts Representative Joseph Kennedy as well as two new honorary co-chairs — Patriots receiver Julian Edelman and Boston Celtics forward Jason Tatum.
Brady will instead be assuming a new role as Global Ambassadors for Best Buddies International.
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Brady’s Statement Regarding the Announcement
Tom Brady released a statement about his time serving as Best Buddies Honororay Co-Chair:
“It has been one of my greatest honors to serve as an Honorary Co-Chair of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port. This organization has become a part of my life. I love meeting the inspiring buddies at events, seeing their smiles, and hearing them talk about how Best Buddies has changed their lives for the better by helping them make friends at school and find meaningful jobs in their local communities.
“I am incredibly proud of all the great things that we have accomplished with the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port over the years and I look forward to continuing to support the organization as a Global Ambassador.”
The Patriots’ quarterback will still be involved with the company, something he has cherished being a part of throughout his NFL career. His switch to Global Ambassador, however, is a bit of a red flag for his future in New England.
Rumors have swirled about Brady continuing to play in New England following the 2019 season given his restructured contract, which included void years, makes him a free agent at the conclusion of the season. It will be the first time Brady enters free agency over his 20-year career and given his constant desire of wanting to play until he’s 45, it may not be the last stop for the legendary quarterback.
Passing of the Torch?
Brady has been the face of New England sports, not just the Patriots, for two decades. With his time in the region likely dwindling, fans of New England must now find a new face to identify with area sports.
David Ortiz’s retirement in 2016 sparked a similar ‘changing of the guard’ but will be nothing compared to Brady’s departure. Julian Edelman, who has really become the new face of the Patriots this season, is set to fill that role on the football side of things.
Passing control along to Tatum too, a young, budding star who is likely to have a long career with the Celtics, could be a sign of Brady wanting to give a younger face the chance to become involved off the field as well.