Robert Kraft Says Tom Brady Leaving Patriots 'Is Not the Way I Want It to End': 'I Love Him'

Tom Brady‘s goodbye isn’t easy for most New Englanders — but especially not for Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Brady announced that he is leaving the New England Patriots after 20 years with the NFL team in a statement on Tuesday.

After the news broke, Kraft, 78, shared his reaction with ESPN in a statement.

“Tommy initiated contact last night & came over. We had a positive, respectful discussion,” Kraft said of the 42-year-old quarterback. “It’s not the way I want it to end, but I want him to do what is in his best personal interest. After 20 years with us, he has earned that right. I love him like a son.”

In his announcement on Tuesday, Brady thanked Kraft, among others associated with the team.

“To all my teammates, coaches, executives and staff, Coach Belichick, RKK and the Kraft family and the entire organization,” said Brady. “I want to say thank you for the past twenty years of my life and the daily commitment to winning and creating a winning culture built on values. I am grateful for all that you have taught me — I have learned from everyone.”

“You all have allowed me to maximize my potential and that is all a player can ever hope for,” Brady continued. “Everything we have accomplished brings me great joy and the lessons I have learned will carry on with me forever. I couldn’t be the man I am today without the relationships you have allowed me to build with you. I have benefited from all you have given me. I cherished every opportunity I had to be a part of our team, and I love you all for that.”

It is unclear, yet, where Brady is headed.

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