The New England Patriots have announced that Tom Brady will be back at Gillette Stadium for the start of the 2023 season, although it’s just to make an appearance and not for a sensational playing return. Brady retired as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer at the end of last season, but his invite back to the Patriots could see owner Robert Kraft eventually get his wish.
Brady will forever be tied to the Patriots franchise, winning six Super Bowl titles with the organisation and delivering nearly two decades of success.
The legendary quarterback then signed with the Buccaneers in 2020 before retiring back in February, but Kraft is desperate for Brady to sign a one-day contract and formally end his career as a Patriot. A video was released on Thursday across the Patriots’ social media platforms as Kraft confirmed that Brady would be back for the 2023 season opener, and it could be a step in the right direction as far as retirement goes.
“Since today is schedule day, I’d like to make one little announcement that I think may have some news for real football fans, and it actually relates to our schedule,” said Kraft. “I know our opening day should be (against) a very competitive team, they (NFL) haven’t shared with us who that is exactly. But I’d like to know that, and it all relates to this blue square (badge).
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“Because I’ve had a lot of people like Bon Jovi and Meek Mill, Mike Imperioli and a guy by the name of Tom Brady, all wear this and spread it. I’m thinking that the NFL is over a century old, and 20 percent of those years of the NFL, the greatest player in the history of the game played right here at Foxborough.
“I’m happy to tell you and your audience that I invited him back to come here and be with us at the opening game, and let the fans in New England thank him for the great services he gave us over 20 years. And it will be the beginning of many celebrations to honour Tom Brady and say thank you for what he did for us, those 20 years playing for the New England Patriots.”
But Kraft hasn’t been shy in revealing his desire for Brady to retire as a Patriot, and following the quarterback’s withdrawal from the league in February, the owner made a very public plea to his former star about signing a one-day contract.
“I’d do it tomorrow,” Kraft said in an interview with CNN. “Not only do I want it, our fans are clamouring for it and to us, he always has been and always will be a Patriot We’ll do everything we can in our power to bring him back, sign off as a Patriot and find ways to honour him for many years to come.
“He did so much to bring life and good cheer to our community and he’s a beloved figure and he’s earned the respect and love that people feel for him like no other athlete in our town and we’ve had some great ones. Tommy, I’m always here for you, you are part of our family.
“I just love the guy so much and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for him and I think he can do a lot of good things for America and reach out to a lot of people. Thank you for the time you gave us and everyone here in the New England region loves you and respects you and wants happiness for you in your life.”
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