New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft told CNN on Thursday that he wants Tom Brady to sign a one-day contract and officially retire as a Patriot.
“Not only do I want it, but our fans are asking for it,” Kraft said. “For us, he has always been and always will be a patriot.
“We will do everything in our power to bring him back, sign him as a patriot and find ways to honor him for many years to come.”
Brady announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday. Of his record seven Super Bowl wins, six have come with New England. Another followed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Kraft told the story of Brady — selected 199th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft — when the young quarterback showed up late in training camp.
The Patriots owner – who now tells CNN that Brady should have been the first pick that year instead of going in the sixth round – said the future seven-time Super Bowl winner told him, “I’m the best decision your franchise has ever taken. ”
“He was No. 4 in our depth chart,” Kraft said. “He came down and he really believed what he said – and he was right.”
The legendary quarterback announced his retirement after 23 seasons with a video message, where the 45-year-old confirmed he was “retiring for good”.
He first retired in February 2022, but the decision proved temporary as he returned for one more season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady told his father, Tom Brady Sr., about a week ago that he was retiring, according to the elder Brady in a telephone interview with The Boston Globe on Wednesday.
“We are in no way shocked,” Brady’s father told The Globe. “He played football for 32 years out of his 45, living his dream for three quarters of his life. It was a wonderful ride. He is very sure of his decision. It was about time.
“It’s been a tough year,” Brady Sr. added in the Globe interview. “I’m really happy for Tommy from the point of view that he will be able to spend more time with his children.
“He’s coming out on his own terms and he’s healthy. He’s taken a lot of hits over the years – a lot of sacks, a lot of knockdowns. I’m glad he won’t get knocked down anymore.
Over the course of his long career, three-time league MVP Brady broke nearly every passing record, including regular-season passing yards (89,214) and passing touchdowns (649). He also amassed the most wins of any player in NFL history (251).