Tom Brady shocked the NFL on Tuesday morning when he announced he was leaving the New England Patriots and signing with another team. However, the Patriots probably knew Brady leaving was a realistic option. According to Patriots insider Tom E. Curran, the team did not make a "tangible effort" to re-sign Brady.
On Twitter, Curran wrote: "In the end, a tangible effort by the Patriots to keep Tom Brady in New England never happened. No negotiation. Just the intimation that it was on Brady to say what he wanted. For Brady, that stance spoke volumes." This could mean the Patriots wanted Brady to return, but they were ready to move on from him at the same time. Once Brady made the announcement, Patriots owner Robert Kraft released a statement and indicated that he's sad the Brady era is over.
"How do I possibly sum up the depth of my gratitude to Tom Brady for what he's given us these past 20 years, or the sadness I feel knowing it's ending?" Kraft said. "I love Tom like a son and I always will. He has brought so much happiness to me personally and to all of our fans. I had hoped this day would never come, but rather that Tom would end his remarkable career in a Patriots uniform after yet another Super Bowl championship. Unfortunately, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement to allow that dream to become a reality. While sad today, the overwhelming feeling I have is appreciation for his countless contributions to our team and community."
"Examples of Tom's greatness are limitless, going back even before he was drafted," Belichick said. "We witnessed how he prepared when he wasn't playing, how he performed when he got his opportunity, what he did to continuously improve, his leadership, his mindset, the example he set, and, of course, the person he is. I am extremely grateful for what he did for our team and for me personally.
"Sometimes in life, it takes some time to pass before truly appreciating something or someone but that has not been the case with Tom. He is a special person and the greatest quarterback of all-time."
Brady is still a member of the Patriots but that will change at 4 p.m. on Wednesday when the 2020 league year begins. As for the Patriots, their top priority this offseason is looking for a starting quarterback.