The New England Patriots owner bought a full-page ad in Sunday’s Tampa Bay Times — as the NFL star recently signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — to express his appreciation for Brady’s 20 years on the Boston team.
“THANK YOU TOM,” the ad read, shared by ESPN reporter Mike Reiss on Twitter. “For 20 amazing years, you gave us everything you had. When you arrived as a sixth-round pick — and the best selection this franchise has ever made — no one imagined all you’d accomplish or how much you’d soon mean to an entire region. You now leave New England after two decades of dominance as the GOAT and forever a part of our family.”
“Your passion for the game, competitiveness and constant pursuit of excellence resulted in an unprecedented six Super Bowl victories, nine conference championships and 17 division titles,” it continued. “You’re now recognized as the greatest of all time for what you’ve accomplished on the field, but you’re an even better person. Thank you, Tom, for your countless contributions to the New England Patriots, and we wish you and your beautiful family continued success. There will never be another Tom Brady.”
Kraft ended his note by urging the Florida team to “take care” of the star quarterback.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Robert Kraft embraces Tom Brady after 2019 Super Bowl win
“To the Buccaneers fans and Tampa Bay community — take care of him. You got a great one,” he wrote. “With much love and appreciations, The Kraft Family and the New England Patriots.”
Brady joined the Patriots when the team selected him with the 199th pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. While he initially played back-up to starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe, Brady took over the job when Bledsoe went down with an injury in the second game of the 2002 season.
The star announced his departure from the Patriots last week, thanking his “incredible” New England fans for their support throughout his legendary career.
“Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments,” he wrote on Instagram. “I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to know each and everyone of you, and to have the memories we’ve created together.”
“I love your commitment and loyalty to your teams and winning for out city means more than you will ever know,” Brady wrote. “… I have been so blessed to share them with you all.”
Adam Glanzman/Getty Tom Brady
“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,” he continued. “You opened your heart to me, and I opened my heart to you.”
On Friday, Brady ended the suspense and announced that he decided to sign with the Buccaneers for his next season in the NFL.
“Excited, humble and hungry …if there is one thing I have learned about football, it’s that nobody cares what you did last year or the year before that…you earn the trust and respect of those around through your commitment every single day,” he shared on Instagram. “I’m starting a new football journey and thankful for the @buccaneers for giving me an opportunity to do what I love to do.”
Brady added, “I look forward to meeting all my new teammates and coaches and proving to them that they can believe and trust in me…I have always believed that well done is better than well said, so I’m gonna not gonna say much more – I’m just gonna get to work! #Year1.”