Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, said Thursday that he wants to sign a one-day contract to have former quarterback Tom Brady end his NFL career with the team.
“I’d do it tomorrow,” Kraft said in an interview with CNN. “Not only do I want it (but) our fans are clamoring for it. And to us, he is, always has been and always will be, a Patriot.”
Brady announced Wednesday on social media that he was “retiring for good” after 20 seasons with the Patriots and three with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WFXT reported. The 45-year-old briefly retired from professional football in February 2022, though he returned to the Bucs 40 days later, according to the news station.
“We will do everything in our power to bring him back, have him sign off as a Patriot, and find ways to honor him for many years to come,” Kraft told CNN. “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.”
In a video shared by the Patriots on Wednesday, Kraft said the team was “really lucky to have (Brady).”
“As fierce as he was as a competitor and as tough as he could be, he had a great heart and was a great human being,” Kraft said. “I think that came from his family, where he had great parents and three wonderful sisters, and he always showed love. It allowed me, in the 23 years that I’ve known him, to love him like a son and have a connection that’s pretty special.”
Brady appeared in a record 10 Super Bowls, winning six titles with the Patriots and one with the Buccaneers. He has been named Super Bowl MVP five times, more than any other player.
“Tom’s legacy is unmatched in the history of the game,” Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said Wednesday in a statement. “All the Super Bowl titles and statistical records speak for themselves, but the impact he had on so many people through the years is what I appreciate the most. His imprint on this organization helped take us to the mountaintop.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday that Brady, who was the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft, “entered the NFL with little to no fanfare and leaves as the most successful player in league history.
“His relentless pursuit of excellence drove him on a daily basis,” he said. “I thank Tom for the positive impact he had on me and on the Patriots and congratulate him on his amazing career.”
©2023 Cox Media Group