BOSTON (CBS) — On Tuesday morning, Tom Brady stunned the sports world with an announcement that said he is leaving the Patriots after 20 years together.

Shortly after that statement made waves, Robert Kraft made a statement of his own.

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“How do I possibly sum up the depth of my gratitude to Tom Brady for what he’s given us these past 20 years, or the sadness I feel knowing it’s ending? I love Tom like a son and I always will,” said Kraft. “He has brought so much happiness to me personally and to all our fans. I had hoped this day would never come, but rather that Tom would end his remarkable career in a Patriots uniform after yet another Super Bowl championship. Unfortunately, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement to allow the dream to become a reality. While sad today, the overwhelming feeling I have is appreciation for his countless contributions to our team and community.

“When Tom arrived in New England as an unheralded, sixth-round pick, no one could have imagined the fairytale story that would be written, the records that would be broken or the joy he would bring to an entire region,” Kraft continued. “He leaves 20 years later as the winningest quarterback in NFL history with six Super Bowl victories, nine AFC titles and 17 division championships. He has been an exemplary teammate and leader. There simply will never be another Tom Brady. I now look forward to the day we can bring him back home to New England to celebrate his Patriots career, his endless achievements and his legacy as the greatest if all time. I love him very much.”

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Brady and Kraft obviously developed a tremendous relationship during their 20 years together, winning six Super Bowls along the way.

The decision about a contract, however, reportedly fell on the shoulders of Bill Belichick. Some speculated that if Belichick wanted to move on from Brady, Kraft might step in to ensure that Brady remained a Patriot for his entire career. Alas, Brady’s announcement and Kraft’s statement indicated that both men accepted that this is the end of the road.

 

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