Speculation on Tom Brady’s future with the New England Patriots has grown like wildfire as the 2019 season has progressed. The 42-year-old future Hall of Famer doused some of the flames following the Patriots disappointing AFC Wild Card loss to the Tennessee Titans, telling the media that he would hopefully not be retiring.
Days later Brady took to Instagram to thank his supporters and let them know that he’s not done proving himself yet.
“In both life and football, failure is inevitable,” Brady wrote on Instagram. “You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.”
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Somewhere between encouraging comments from the likes of David Beckham, The Rock, and fellow NFL players was a heartfelt note from longtime friend and teammate Ben Watson.
“No bro. We all need to be thanking you! Your leadership is an inspiration, your example exemplary, and your fire is contagious,” wrote Watson. “Generations of players have been blessed to take the field and share the locker room with you. You made everyone better and made us appreciate this game all the more. You taught us the importance of TEAM and that winning is not by chance. It’s by choice, in every drill when the lights and cameras are no where to be seen. And even though your stardom is unmatched you still take time hug our kids, wives and parents, sign all the stuff people send you and have normal conversations lol. Kindness lasts forever. Play as long as you desire to. This decade needs some TB records as well. Fan for life #LFG”
The 39-year-old tight end has spent seven of his 15 seasons with Brady and the Patriots organization. He spent the first six years of his career in New England after the team selected him in the first round (No. 32 overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. After stints in Cleveland, New Orleans, and Baltimore, the Super Bowl champion tight end came out of retirement for one more go-around with his former team in 2019.
On Monday, ESPN’s Patriots reporter Mike Reiss uncovered an exchange between the two NFL veterans late in the season that left Watson ‘stunned.’
Tight end Ben Watson wrote a heartfelt response to Brady’s Instagram post this week, and his feelings could be summarized by something hanging in his locker late in the season: one of Brady’s white Patriots jerseys that was personally autographed for him. Watson told me he had asked Brady for a jersey, only to be stunned about 30 minutes later when he returned to his locker to see it hanging inside with an inspirational message reminding him, among other things, that they were brothers for life. Those are the type of locker room stories that often go untold, but it came to mind after their social-media posts this week.
Immediately after the Patriots’ loss to the Titans, Watson was emotional in the locker room and strongly hinted at retirement. Days later he posted his own thank you message on Instagram – this one again hinting more towards retirement rather than a 2020 reunion.
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