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After two triumphant decades and six Super Bowl victories, Tom Brady, is leaving the New England Patriots. And that’s now official. The NFL’s most successful quarterback of all time confirmed it in a twitter post on Tuesday entitled “Forever a Patriot.”

Although he’s leaving the club he led to nine Super Bowls and six Vince Lombardi Trophy triumphs, he is not quitting pro football. At 42 he wants to keep playing – and playing with a greater say in his team’s roster and play-calling.

That first came out after the Patriots shock defeat by the Tennessee Titans in the wild card weekend earlier this year. It was again repeated during the speculation of the past weeks about his future when he became a free agent for the first time.

Brady did not mention why he’s leaving or where he’s going in his tributes to the club and to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft.


Two sides unable to reach an agreement

However, Kraft in his tribute to Brady did say it had always been his wish that Brady begin and end his standout career with the Patriots.

“Unfortunately,” he added, “The two sides were unable to reach an agreement to allow that dream to become a reality.”

Could Brady’s call for a greater say in the team management, perhaps, have been the reason an agreement could not be reached?

In the meantime, teams that have been linked with Brady include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders and the Miami Dolphins.

Tampa Bay seems to be the favorites, but the fact that Brady has bought a Hollywood film production company may bring the Chargers into the picture.

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Brady’s career in numbers

Here we take a look at Brady’s great career through some important numbers.

We start with when he first stepped away from the University of Michigan and signed up to play pro-football.

198 college players had already been drafted in 2000 when the Patriots chose him as the 199th. He was a relatively unknown, tall but “skinny kid” and six quarterbacks had already been drafted when he got his call.

326 games – Since debuting in 2000, Brady made a total of 326 appearances for the Patriots – 285 in the regular season and 41 in the playoffs. He started in but two of those appearances.

249 victories – No other quarterback can compete with Brady’s 249 wins as a starter across the regular and posts seasons. Drew Brees, with 171, is the closest.

Six rings – The Patriots made it into nine Super Bowls during the Brady era. With six victories he owns more Super Bowl rings than any other player. He has one more than Charles Haley and two more than fellow quarterbacks Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw.

Four Super Bowl MVPs – Brady also leads the way in MVP awards for the big game. Only five players have been named Super Bowl MVP on more than one occasion (Brady, Montana, Bradshaw, Bart Starr and Eli Manning).

14 Pro Bowls – His Super Bowl appearances meant Brady had to miss many of the Pro Bowls he was nominated for, but at 14 he holds the record for most nods, along with Tony Gonzalez, Peyton Manning, Bruce Matthews and Merlin Olsen.

45 fourth-quarter comebacks – Peyton Manning may have more fourth-quarter comebacks in the regular season (43 to Brady’s 36), yet his great rival has nine in the postseason compared to The Sheriff’s two.

58 game-winning drives – In all six of New England’s Super Bowl victories, Brady has engineered a game-winning drive. In the regular season, he is on the heels of Peyton Manning, Brees and Dan Marino in that category.

74,571 yards – With this number Brees is the only signal caller to have thrown for more yards than Brady in the regular season, and the man second on the list is just 2,845 yards behind.

541 passing touchdowns – Brady with 541 is neck and neck in this category for most touchdowns thrown in the regular season. Brees leads with 547.


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