Tom Brady has retired, definitely probably for real this time. And New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft wants the all-time greatest quarterback retiring with a New England jersey on his back.
During a Thursday appearance on "CNN This Morning," Kraft said he'd love to have Brady sign a one-day contract to retire with the team he led for 20 years.
"I'd do it tomorrow," said Kraft when asked of the possibility by hosts Don Lemon and Poppy Harlow, via Patriots.com. "Not only do I want it, our fans are clamoring for it and to us, he always has been and always will be a Patriot...We'll do everything we can in our power to bring him back, sign off as a Patriot and find ways to honor him for many years to come. He did so much to bring life and good cheer to our community and he's a beloved figure and he's earned the respect and love that people feel for him like no other athlete in our town and we've had some great ones."
Brady, 45, officially retired on Wednesday after 23 years in the NFL (20 spent with the Patriots, three with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). He released the video exactly one year after his first retirement announcement, which he ended up rescinding 40 days later to return to the NFL and play the 2022 season. This time, Brady says his retirement is "for good."
Kraft has wanted Brady to retire with Pats for years
This isn't the first time Kraft has said publicly that he wants Brady to retire as a member of the Patriots. On Oct. 3, 2021, Kraft was being interviewed on NFL Network just hours before Brady was returning to Foxboro Stadium for the first time since signing with the Bucs in 2020 (and winning the Super Bowl in a Tampa Bay uniform). Kraft lavished praise on Brady and made it clear he wanted him to retire with the Pats.
"I’m always rooting for Tommy, except when he’s playing us," the Patriots owner told former New England linebacker Willie McGinest Sunday on NFL Network. "In the end, I hope and believe he’ll come back here and we’ll give him his red jacket, and he’ll retire a Patriot."
Robert Kraft has nothing but love for Tom Brady#TheReturn | @WillieMcGinest | @heykayadams | @Patriots pic.twitter.com/Zd89zOzP6C— NFL GameDay (@NFLGameDay) October 3, 2021
Now the question is: Will Brady accept? It's possible he might need more time away from the game, since the Bucs had a disappointing season and he recently went through the dissolution of his 10-year marriage to supermodel Gisele Bundchen. But it's probably also hard to resist an invitation to be loved and praised and worshipped for an afternoon by the team that gave you the chance to become the greatest QB ever.