Patriots’ Robert Kraft Gets Brutally Honest on Tom Brady’s Decision

Robert Kraft

Getty Images New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft

With Tom Brady’s departure announcement on Tuesday morning, the New England Patriots now must turn the page to a new era of football in Foxborough. Despite months of speculation, the 42-year-old’s decision comes as a surprise to many considering the dwindling number of suitors in the running for Brady’s services.

Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft told ESPN beat reporter Mike Reiss that it was Brady who initiated the conversation to part ways on Monday evening. The revered owner went even further to suggest that the Patriots would have had a deal with Brady if the three-time MVP quarterback had wanted it, as he told NFL Network reporter Michael Giardi.

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Patriots’ Release Official Statement on Tom Brady

In an official team statement, Kraft expressed gratitude for Brady’s accomplishments while noting that the sides were unable to reach an agreement to keep the 42-year-old in New England.

“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.”

It’s apparent how brutal the split between the two sides is on Kraft, who’s witnessed arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history lead his franchise for the past 20 years.

Patriots longtime head coach Bill Belichick also issued a statement on Brady, calling the quarterback one of the program’s “original creators.” Belichick proceeded to call him a “tone-setter and a bar raiser” while addressing their relationship.

“Tom and I will always have a great relationship built on love, admiration, respect and appreciation. Tom’s success as a player and his character as a person are exceptional. Nothing about the end of Tom’s Patriots career changes how unfathomably spectacular it was. 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.”

Julian Edelman Bids Farewell to Tom Brady

For a player like Julian Edelman, who’s spent the past 10 years playing alongside Brady, this outcome has to be brutally tough to hear. While the Patriots wideout opted not to post a long message to his former teammate, he let one photo with a one-word caption do the talking.

Edelman and Brady have shared the field for every game the receiver has played in his 10 years with the exception of four games to start the 2016 season. Since 2013, Edelman has caught 92 or more passes in each of the four seasons in which he’s played 14 or more games. In the two other years, the 33-year-old wideout caught at least 61 balls during the regular season.

Over the span of Edelman’s 150 regular season and postseason games with the Patriots and Brady, the duo won three Super Bowls (Brady has six total) and the receiver tallied 717 total receptions with 41 touchdowns.

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