The world found out on Tuesday morning that Tom Brady won’t be returning to the Patriots. Patriots owner Robert Kraft found out on Monday night.
“Tommy initiated contact and came over and saw me last night and told me he was going to move on,” Kraft told PFT by phone on Tuesday. “And it was really a positive, loving moment. I love him like a son. That’s why I gave his the freedom. I figured after 20 years, anybody who has brought us six Super Bowls, if he wants to be free, he has the right to do that. I had hoped he would choose to stay, as a fan and an owner. But out of respect for the relationship we’ve built, I gave him his freedom.”
Kraft still doesn’t relish Brady’s decision to exercise that freedom.
“It makes me very sad,” Kraft said.
The freedom came in the form of a contract that was negotiated last year, one that contained two voidable years after 2019 — and that prevented the Patriots from restricting Brady with the franchise tag or the transition tag.
It remains to be seen where Brady plays next; Brady (per Chris Simms) had wanted to play for the 49ers, but that won’t be happening. However it plays out, Robert Kraft will continue to be a fan of the player to whom Kraft routinely refers as his fifth son.
“Except when he plays us,” Kraft said, “I wish him well.”