Tom Brady announces he is leaving the Patriots and will join a new team in free agency

  • Tom Brady posted a message to social media announcing he will leave the New England Patriots in free agency.
  • Brady said, "Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments."
  • Brady is a free agent for the first time in his career.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tom Brady announced on social media on Tuesday that he will leave the New England Patriots after 20 years.

The announcement came as Brady hits the free-agent market for the first time in his career.

In his statement, Brady thanked the Patriots, from team owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, to his teammates, for supporting him and for the success they achieved together.

"Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments," Brady wrote. "

Brady said the Patriots allowed him to "maximize" his potential, saying, "I have benefited from you all."

Rumors and signs all season suggested Brady was going to leave the Patriots. After failing to sign a long-term extension with the Patriots in training camp in 2019, Brady designed for his contract to expire, allowing him to hit the open market for the first time.

At the same time, Brady and his wife, Gisele Bündchen also listed their Brookline, Massachusetts, home for sale, as did Brady's trainer, business partner, and friend, Alex Guerrero.

For now, Brady's market appears to be limited to two teams — the Los Angeles Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Teams like the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans were rumored to be interested, but the Raiders signed Marcus Mariota on Monday, and the Titans re-signed Ryan Tannehill.

Brady, at 43, poses a somewhat difficult fit for some teams. While Brady is still sharp mentally and can make throws with time and space, he has shown signs of decline in the past two seasons. Almost any team signing him has to feel comfortable that they have the offensive weapons, offensive line, and defensive pieces in place to make it a plug-and-play situation.

ESPN's Adam Schefter said on "Get Up" shortly after Brady's announcement that Brady does not yet have a decision and is "exploring his options."

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