Tom Brady announces he's leaving the New England Patriots

As if the world isn't facing enough change and uncertainty right now, Tom Brady just announced that he's leaving the New England Patriots. The NFL superstar took to social media to announce his decision and remind fans that he'll always be a Patriot at heart. Brady has an unprecedented career with the team, including six Super Bowl wins and being "a four-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and three-time league MVP," according to CBS News

Brady began his announcement with a statement of gratitude: "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." 

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A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on Mar 17, 2020 at 5:43am PDT

Brady added, "Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments." The 42-year-old captioned the post, "FOREVER A PATRIOT." 

He then shared a second Instagram post, specifically thanking all of his fans, captioning it, "LOVE YOU PATS NATION."

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A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on Mar 17, 2020 at 5:45am PDT

In the lengthy message, Brady wrote, "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." 

Where will Tom Brady go next?

While Tom Brady announced the end of his time with the Patriots, he was clear to say in his message that his "football journey will take place elsewhere." CBS News pointed out that Brady "did not indicate where he would play next." 

Earlier, Brady shared the news on social media that he would be collaborating on launching a production company called "199 Productions," in collaboration with Joe and Anthony Russo, the brothers who directed Avengers: Endgame. Brady spread the news on Instagram and said that the first project will be called Unseen Football. He added in his caption, "I believe in the essence of teamwork, and have no doubt, our 199 Productions team and partners will create inspiring content to share with the world." 

The title 199 Productions comes from Brady's spot in the draft (being the 199th pick), which, as he said, made him realize he "needed to work hard every day to prove myself." 

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A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on Mar 9, 2020 at 8:22am PDT

Could this production company be what Brady is referring to when he speaks about his football journey continuing elsewhere? Or is there more to come? 

Tom Brady transformed from underdog to superstar

Tom Brady's experience coming into the NFL as an underdog is in large part what has made his career so remarkable. CBS Sports jokingly described how other teams passed over Brady, leaving New England to haphazardly make one of the best choices they could: "Sure, it was with the 199th overall selection. And, yes, every other team passed on Brady six times or so. Whatever, the Patriots took him after six other quarterbacks had gone off the board, and it was the best decision in the organization's history." 

The outlet pointed out that Brady "didn't exactly blow people away at the combine" that day, and that his notably lean physique didn't have the impressive musculature that the other quarterbacks did who were chosen before him. 

In hindsight, it seems unbelievable that someone as talented as Brady could get passed over six times. Now, with Brady's announcement that he's leaving the Pats, the internet is pausing to point out what a remarkable player the quiet, thin Californian man has been since 2000. On Twitter, ESPN's Field Yates shared Brady's almost-superhuman achievements while in the NFL. 

However, Brady's success and the online love he's receiving aren't without some negativity — people are pointing out that he was also suspended for four games. As the Daily News reported, Brady was the "highest-profile player ever suspended in the 96-year history of the NFL." But that's all in the past now. 

Celebrities are reacting to Tom Brady's departure

Gisele Bündchen, supermodel and wife to Tom Brady, shared a post to Instagram hours before her husband announced his departure from the Patriots. At the time, it seemed like Bündchen was referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in hindsight, there could be a double meaning to her message. She said, "We cannot let fear and anxiety consume our minds." Later, she wrote, "We have to try to remain calm, positive and continue to support each other." 

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A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on Mar 16, 2020 at 12:17pm PDT

On Brady's Instagram announcement, soccer star David Beckham replied, "The journey continues @tombrady." Actor Mark Wahlberg responded with a heart emoji, while athlete Deion Sanders wrote, "Pure Class!" 

The Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, was disappointed but respectful. According to CBS News, "contract negotiations" came "to a head during last offseason," beginning speculation that Brady might leave. Kraft sent a statement to ESPN's Mike Reiss saying: "Tommy initiated contact last night and came over. We had a positive, respectful discussion. It's not the way I want it to end, but I want him to do what is in his best personal interest. After 20 years with us, he has earned that right. I love him like a son."

It's a new journey for Tom Brady for sure. We wish Brady, Bündchen, and their family the best of luck as they move forward.