Bill Belichick releases unexpected statement on Tom Brady’s retirement

As NFL legend Tom Brady announced his retirement from the league after 22 seasons, his former coach honored him with a heartwarming message.

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick called Brady, who spent nearly two decades with that team, the “best player in NFL history” in a statement released Wednesday.

Brady, who scored his seventh Super Bowl championship in the 2020 season playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, announced he is retiring on Tuesday, bringing to a close a legendary career that saw him win seven Vince Lombardi trophies and five Super Bowl MVPs.

In a statement released by the Patriots, Belichick said he was “privileged to have drafted and coached Tom Brady, the ultimate competitor and winner.”

“Tom’s humble beginning in professional football ultimately ended with him becoming the best player in NFL history,” the coach added.

“Tom consistently performed at the highest level against competition that always made him the No. 1 player to stop. His pursuit of excellence was inspirational,” Belichick said.

The legendary coach and quarterback led the Patriots to a historic six Super Bowl titles together.

“Tom was professional on and off the field, and (he) carried himself with class, integrity, and kindness. I thank Tom for his relentless pursuit of excellence and positive impact on me and the New England Patriots for 20 years,” the 69-year-old coach with nearly five decades as an NFL coach concluded.

In his Instagram story, Brady reportedly responded to the tribute by writing, “Thank you Coach Belichick I appreciate being coached by you the Greatest Coach in NFL History,” according to ESPN.

Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft also released a statement following Brady’s announcement.

“Words cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady, nor adequately express the gratitude my family, the New England Patriots and our fans have for Tom for all he did during his career,” the 80-year-old wrote.

“A generation of football fans have grown up knowing only an NFL in which Tom Brady dominated. He retires with nearly every NFL career passing record, yet the only one that ever mattered to him was the team’s win-loss record. In his 20 years as a starter his teams qualified for the playoffs 19 times. He led his teams to 10 Super Bowls, winning an NFL-record seven championships,” he continued.

“In a team sport like football, it is rare to see an individual have such a dominant impact on a team’s success. You didn’t have to be a Patriots fan to respect and appreciate his competitiveness, determination and will to win that fueled his success. As a fan of football, it was a privilege to watch. As a Patriots fan, it was a dream come true,” Kraft added.

“I have the greatest respect for Tom personally and always will. His humility, coupled with his drive and ambition, truly made him special,” he concluded. “I will always feel a close bond to him and will always consider him an extension of my immediate family.”

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