Tom Brady 'Probably Knew' Before 2019 Season He Would Be Leaving Patriots

Tom Brady opened up about leaving the New England Patriots when he was interviewed by Howard Stern on Wednesday morning. Stern touched on a number of topics, but the one that stood out the most was Brady leaving the Patriots. The six-time Super Bowl winner told Stern about the process of him deciding to leave New England, and join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady said he accomplished everything he could in New England, and knew before the start of the 2019 season it would be his final year with the team.

Brady told Stern per NESN: "I don't think there was a final, final decision until it happened. I would say I probably knew before the start of last season." Brady was ready to leave, but he still had a hard time telling owner Robert Kraft that it was time to move on. Brady even said that he cried when talking to Kraft, and he also said he hopes the team continues to do well moving forward.

"I just went over and I said, look, I just want to say how much I love you and appreciate what we've done together," Brady said when talking about his conversation with Kraft. "I know we're not going to continue together, but thank you and thank you for providing what you have for my family and for my career. I was able to call Coach Belichick at the same time, and it was great."

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Brady is right about accomplishing everything he could in New England, as he led the team to nine Super Bowl appearances while winning the Super Bowl MVP award four times. However, some fans are still shocked that he's leaving after 20 years with the franchise. Earlier this week, Brady penned a letter to the fans who have been by his side since 2000.

"If there's one thing anyone can say for sure, it's that New Englanders understand what fandom is all about," Brady wrote in the letter. "New Englanders just really, really love their sports. That's maybe because compared to New York, or Chicago, or Los Angeles, Boston feels less like a big city than it does a large small town. Even if you don't know everybody in Boston, you feel like you know everybody. The fans feel like they're part of our team, and my teammates and I felt the same way about them."