New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft talks about Tom Brady exiting the team after the 2019 NFL season, moving on to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed conversations he had with Tom Brady that would lead to the quarterback’s eventual exit.
Brady was drafted 199th overall in 2000 and played 20 years with the Patriots. The quarterback went on to win six Super Bowls in Foxborough and is considered one of the greatest players in NFL history.
The 46-year-old left the Patriots after the 2019 season after leading them to the wild-card round of the playoffs. Brady then joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent and won a Super Bowl title in three years at Florida State.
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Brady officially retired from the NFL in February after a 23-year career in the league that earned him seven Super Bowl rings and three MVP awards. The former quarterback is now involved in the world of sports as a minority owner of the Las Vegas Raiders and English Championship side Birmingham City.
Kraft has owned the Patriots since 1994 and was a key member of the front office that drafted Brady more than two decades ago. Now he explains what happened behind the scenes that led to Brady quitting the Patriots at the end of the 2019 season, including what he said to the quarterback.
“I always talk to him and he’s going to pay less to play for the Patriots and you know we have a salary cap,” Kraft said on the David Rubenstein Show. “So, I always promised him that whatever money I didn’t pay him, it wouldn’t go into my pocket, it would go to other players around him and if we win these types of trophies, he will be the greatest player.” He will benefit from it for the rest of his life, and in fact it has already happened.
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“You know, if the Patriots don’t win the Super Bowl, I’m always rooting for Tom Brady. After 20 years with him, we could have franchise franchised him or something. I said to him, when When he signed his last contract two years ago, in year 20, he will decide whether to stay with us. “I think he has earned the right and for his own personal reasons he feels it is best to move on. “
Kraft welcomed Brady back to Foxborough on Sept. 10 for opening day of the 2023 NFL season. The former Patriots quarterback was honored during a ceremony prior to the home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium.