Patriots quarterback Tom Brady all but confirmed his return to football next season with an Instagram post Wednesday morning.
In his post, Brady thanked fans by saying he is “grateful and humbled by the unconditional support” they’ve shown him over the past two decades. He acknowledged the Patriots organization for believing in him. And he indicated he’ll be back on the field soon, just days after the Pats’ season-ending, 20-13 loss to the Titans in the wild card round last weekend.
“In both life and football, failure is inevitable,” Brady wrote. “You don’t always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you’ll find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.”
Speculation over Brady’s football future has ramped up in recent weeks, as he is slated to become a free agent for the first time in his career come March. Brady agreed to a contract restructure last summer that served as a faux extension. It gave him a pay raise, prohibited the team from placing the franchise tag on him next season and tacked two years onto his current deal, all at the cost of the contract voiding on the final day of the 2019-2020 league year. Meaning, if Brady and the Pats fail to renegotiate prior to March 18 at 4 p.m., he will hit the open market and the Patriots are off the hook for the money promised on the two “void years” left on his deal.
During his end-of-season press conference Sunday, Bill Belichick declined to address Brady’s future.
“I want to give the proper attention and communication and detail and thought into my input into those decisions,” Belichick said. “But any decision made is not an individual decision. There are other people involved. There has be some type of communication, understanding, agreement, whatever you want to call it. That’s not a one-way street. I hope you can understand that. One person can’t just decide what everybody else is going to do. ...There’s a lot of time, thought and effort and communication that goes into that. Now is not the time.”
The night before, minutes after the Pats’ playoff loss to Tennessee, Brady said it was “probably unlikely” and “hopefully unlikely” he would retire.
Brady is coming off one of the worst statistical seasons of his 20-year, Hall of Fame career. He completed 60.8% of his passes for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions during the regular season. He threw for 207 yards and one interception in the Wild Card round.
Brady’s full post from Wednesday is below:
View this post on Instagram
I just wanted to say to all of our fans, THANK YOU! After a few days of reflection, I am so grateful and humbled by the unconditional support you have shown me the past two decades. Running out of that tunnel every week is a feeling that is hard to explain. I wish every season ended in a win, but that’s not the nature of sports (or life). Nobody plays to lose. But the reward for working hard is just that, the work!! I have been blessed to find a career I love, teammates who go to battle with me, an organization that believes in me, and fans who have been behind us every step of the way. Every one of us that works at Gillette Stadium strived to do their best, spent themselves at a worthy cause, and prepared to fail while daring greatly (h/t Teddy Roosevelt). And for that, we’ve been rewarded with something that the scoreboard won’t show — the satisfaction of knowing we gave everything to each other in pursuit of a common goal. That is what TEAM is all about. In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.