Tom Brady reportedly sent in retirement paperwork; Robert Kraft willing to celebrate Brady in whatever way he wants

"He's a New England Patriot. He will always be."

Tom Brady appears to be retired for good this time.

If you weren’t convinced Tom Brady wasn’t officially going to retire before, it seems like his second retirement is for real.

Brady sent paperwork to the NFL and the NFL’s Players Association to reconfirm his retirement, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday. The filing makes Brady eligible to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2028 class.

Brady’s decision to officially call it quits on playing also allows him to sign a possible one-day contract with the Patriots that owner Robert Kraft has been seeking since the seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback announced his retirement on Feb. 1.


In an interview with Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto, Kraft recognized that it’s ultimately Brady’s call if he wants to return to New England for a ceremony to celebrate his career.

“He’s a New England Patriot. He will always be,” Kraft said. “It’s whatever Tommy wants. In the end, we hope to have him back for many years in the future. I know all of our fans want to thank him and celebrate the greatness he brought to our franchise for two decades.”

Kraft actually mentioned in his interview with Cavuto that he’s been in contact with Brady.

“I’ve had an opportunity to speak with him a few times since then,” Kraft said. “We actually were together yesterday. He’s just one of the most outstanding people I’ve ever met in my life. We were lucky to have 20 years together.”

Kraft was asked if he would actually sign Brady to a contract to actually play for the Patriots again after some rumors swirled of a possible reunion late in the 2022 season. The Patriots owner put the kibosh on that, though.

“We are blessed to have a great young quarterback in Mac Jones as our quarterback,” Kraft said. “I’m a strong believer in him and his development.”


Kraft expressed confidence in Jones in part because of the return of Bill O’Brien as the team’s offensive coordinator. He told Fox Business that bringing O’Brien back is a “big plus” for the franchise, which came a couple hours after he told local reporters covering the Super Bowl in Arizona a similar comment.

“I think he was an excellent choice,” Kraft reportedly told reporters. “He has a learning-curve experience of our system. He knows Mac Jones. He knows how to build a great offense, and I’m excited to see what happens next year.”

Following a solid rookie season to help the Patriots reach the playoffs, Jones struggled in 2022, throwing for 2,997 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions with an 84.8 passer rating in 14 games, missing three games due to a left ankle injury. Jones wasn’t alone though when it came to offensive players struggling, as the unit ranked 26th in total offense and dead last in red-zone efficiency under Matt Patricia’s playcalling.

Perhaps playing under one of Brady’s old offensive coordinators could help Jones the way Kraft hopes it would. In O’Brien’s lone season as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2011, New England’s offense ranked second in yards and first in scoring.


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