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Tom Brady Says Goodbye To Patriots, Thanking Belichick And Kraft

BOSTON (CBS) -- Tom Brady is leaving the New England Patriots.

After 20 years with the organization, the quarterback posted a tweet on Tuesday, saying his farewell and his thanks to Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft and the entire Patriots organization.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Brady has not yet chosen his next team and that Brady "will be exploring his options."

The quarterback did not specify where he'll be going next, instead opting to take the time to put his 20 years with the Patriots into perspective.

"Although my football journey will take place elsewhere," Brady said, " I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments. I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to know each and every one of you, and to have the memories we've created together."

Brady opened his message by giving thanks to everyone in the organization.

"To all my teammates, coaches, executives and staff, Coach Belichick, RKK and the Kraft family and the entire organization. I want to say thank you for the past twenty years of my life and the daily commitment to winning and creating a winning culture built on great values. I am grateful for all that you have taught me -- I have learned from everyone," Brady said. "You all have allowed me to maximize my potential and that is all a player can ever hope for. Everything we accomplished brings me great joy and the lessons I have learned will carry on with me forever. I couldn't be the man I am today without the relationships you have allowed me to build with you. I have benefited from all you have given me. I cherished every opportunity I had to be a part of our team, and I love you all for that. Our team has always set a great standard in pro sports and I know it will continue to do just that."

He then sent out a separate message, thanking Patriots fans.

"I want to say thank you to all of th eincredible fans and Patriots supporters. [Massachusetts] has been my home for twenty years. It has truly been the happiest two decades I could have envisioned in my life and I have nothing but love and gratitude for my time in New England," Brady said. "The support has been overwhelming -- I wish every player could experience it. My children were born and raised here and you always embraced this California kid as your own. I love your commitment and loyalty to your teams and winning for our city means more than you will ever know."

Brady continued: "I can't thank you enough for the support of our team. The packed training camps and sold out stadiums and mostly the victory parades. I have been so blessed to share them with you all. I treid to represent us always in the best and most honorable way, and I fought hard with my teammates to help bring victory and triump even in the most dire situations. You opened your heart to me, and I opened my heart to you. And Pats Nation will always be a part of me. I don't know what my football future holds but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I will always love you and what we have shared -- a lifetime full of fun memories."

The 42-year-old Brady just completed his 20th NFL season, all of which have been with the Patriots. Despite a down year statistically, Brady set a number of records for quarterbacks over 42 years old while also leapfrogging Peyton Manning on the all-time passing yards and touchdown lists.

Originally drafted in the sixth round with the 199th overall pick by Bill Belichick and the Patriots all the way back in 2000, Brady has accumulated 74,571 passing yards and 541 touchdowns in the regular season, plus another 11,388 yards and 73 touchdowns in the postseason.

As a starting quarterback, Brady owns a 219-64 record in the regular season and a 30-11 record in the playoffs. He's the only player in NFL history to win six Super Bowls, and his four Super Bowl MVP awards are more than any other player in history.

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A league MVP in 2007, 2010 and 2017, Brady has been named to 14 Pro Bowls and three All-Pro First Teams. He also owns the most Offensive Player of the Week awards, with 30.

No quarterback has ever won as many games as Brady, and if regular season stats are combined with postseason stats, no quarterback has as many passing yards or touchdowns.

Brady's numbers dipped in 2019, when he threw for 4,057 yards and 24 touchdowns with eight interceptions. In the playoff loss at home to Tennessee, he completed 20 of 37 passes for 209 yards with no touchdowns and a pick-six at the end.

Days after that loss, Brady posted on Instagram that he intended to return to football, stating, "I know I still have more to prove." Since then, months of speculation and borderline hysteria has surrounded Brady, as the football world awaited to learn what the future would hold for the greatest quarterback of all time.

UPDATE: Brady is heading to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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