Will Tom Brady end career as a Patriot after announcing retirement? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
It appears Tom Brady's NFL career is over for good. But there's still one bit of speculation worth mentioning.
The 45-year-old quarterback announced his NFL retirement Wednesday on social media, insisting this time it's "for good" after his first retirement in February 2022 lasted all of 40 days.
So, Brady is set to ride off into the sunset as his one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers expires this offseason. But would Brady consider signing a honorary one-day contract with the New England Patriots to officially retire as a member of the franchise where he won six of his seven Super Bowls?
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As a refresher, here's what Patriots owner Robert Kraft said when Brady's Bucs visited Gillette Stadium in October 2021:
"In the end, I hope and believe he’ll come back here and we’ll give him his red jacket (for the Patriots Hall of Fame), and he’ll retire a Patriot."
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Kraft didn't say that by accident. The longtime Patriots owner was one of Brady's biggest cheerleaders during the QB's two decades in New England, so we'd imagine Kraft would be thrilled if the team could have Brady retire as a Patriot and give a symbolic nod to the team that drafted him in 2000.
What's the likelihood this actually happens? Perhaps better than it was a year ago.
Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn't end on the best terms, and Brady caused a stir last February (exactly one year ago today) by omitting the Patriots in his initial retirement announcement. It appears Brady and Belichick have smoothed things over, however, and Brady praised Belichick on several occasions last season, even admitting he watched New England play "every week."
Brady also posted several nostalgic photos to his Instagram story Wednesday -- several of which included Belichick and the Patriots.
So, there doesn't appear to be significant bad blood between Brady and his former team at this point. Whether the relationship is strong enough for Kraft to convince Brady to put on a Patriots uniform for one more day remains to be seen, but that would be a great moment for Patriots fans and a fitting send-off for the QB who helped launch a dynasty in New England.