Tom Brady announces he is leaving the New England Patriots

Wild Card Round - Tennessee Titans v New England Patriots

Tom Brady has announced he is leaving the New England Patriots.

Brady was drafted in the sixth round by the Patriots in 2000. 

He spent a year behind Drew Bledsoe before assuming the starting role a year later.

Brady went on to become the greatest player in NFL history. 

He won six Superbowl rings with the Patriots during his 20-year stay.

He announced the news in a statement on Twitter.

Brady also said a thank you and goodbye to the Patriots fans.

"I wanted to say thank you to all of the incredible fans and Patriots supporters. MA has been my home for twenty years," Brady wrote.

"It has truly been the happiest two decades I could have envisioned in my life and I have nothing but love and gratitude for my time in New England.

"The support has been overwhelming - I wish every player could experience it. My children were born and raised here and you always embraced this California kid as your own. I love your commitment and loyalty to your teams and winning for our city means more than you will ever know."

"You opened your heart to me, and I opened my heart to you. And Pats Nation will always be a part of me.

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons

"I don't know what my football future holds but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career."

"I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I will always love you and what we have shared - a lifetime full of fun memories."

In all, Brady played 326 times for the Patriots.

Per ESPN, Brady threw for 74,571 yards and 541 touchdowns, which both rank as the most for a single team in NFL history.

Wild Card Round - Tennessee Titans v New England Patriots

The Patriots never had a losing season with Brady as their quarterback.

As well as guiding the team to six Superbowl titles, Brady also helped the team to nine AFC Championships and 17 division titles. He also won three MVP awards.

Despite turning 43 in just a few months time, Brady is expected to continue playing in the NFL.

Attention now turns to the team that he will join next. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins are both rumoured to be interested.

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