BOSTON (CBS) -- Tom Brady left the Patriots two years ago. It was a day that team owner Robert Kraft never wanted to see.
Alas, Brady moved on, and so did the Patriots. But with Tuesday's official retirement announcement coming for Brady, Kraft released a statement shortly after news broke, in which the Patriots owner expressed his love and gratitude for Brady as the player and the person.
"Words cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady, nor adequately express the gratitude my family, the New England Patriots and our fans have for Tom for all he did during his career," Kraft said. "A generation of football fans have grown up knowing only an NFL in which Tom Brady dominated. He retires with nearly every NFL career passing record, yet the only one that ever mattered to him was the team's win-loss record. In his 20 years as a starter his teams qualified for the playoffs 19 times. He led his teams to 10 Super Bowls, winning an NFL-record seven championships. In a team sport like football, it is rare to see an individual have such a dominant impact on a team's success. You didn't have to be a Patriots fan to respect and appreciate his competitiveness, determination and will to win that fueled his success. As a fan of football, it was a privilege to watch. As a Patriots fan, it was a dream come true."
Kraft added: "I have the greatest respect for Tom personally and always will. His humility, coupled with his drive and ambition, truly made him special. I will always feel a close bond to him and will always consider him an extension of my immediate family."
Brady spent 20 of his 22 years with the Patriots, winning six Super Bowls and four Super Bowl MVPs.
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