Tom Brady took to his social media outlets on Tuesday morning to make the announcement that he is leaving the Patriots and that his "football journey will take place elsewhere." While Brady's departure from the Pats was always a possibility, it's truly shocking that his time in New England is now coming to an end.
It's unclear where Brady will end up, with Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Chargers the two most likely destinations. It's hard to imagine him in another uniform, but Brady will join the likes of his hero Joe Montana by finishing his career for a different team.
For the Patriots, it will be a seismic shift and in the coming days their plans for rebuilding the offense post-Brady will continue to take shape. Second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham figures to be part of it, and with Joe Thuney back in the fold, the team will have a very solid offensive line in place for the next signal caller.
For now, we try to grasp what the Brady-less Patriots will look like as a 20-year run of coach-quarterback dominance comes to an end.
FULL TOM BRADY STATEMENT:
Forever A Patriot:
"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. You all have allowed me to maximize my potential and that is all a player can ever hope for. Everything we have 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. Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for out incredible TEAM accomplishments. I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to know each and everyone of you, and to have the memories we've created."
Love you Pats Nation:
"I wanted to say thank you to all of the incredible fans and Patriots supporters. MA 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. 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 you own. I love your commitment and loyalty to your teams and winning for our city mean more than you will ever know. I can't say 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 tried to represent us always in the best and most honorable way, and I fought hard with my teammates to help bring victory and triumph 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."