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Bill Belichick Thanks ‘Ultimate Competitor’ Tom Brady in Statement on His Retirement

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady officially announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday, but in his initial lengthy statement, the legendary quarterback did not mention the Patriots or longtime coach Bill Belichick.

Hours later, Brady did re-share an Instagram post by the Patriots on his own Instagram story, writing, “Thank you Patriots and Patriot Nation. Beyond grateful and love you all.”

Belichick issued a statement of his own on Wednesday, thanking the historic quarterback and calling him “the best player in NFL history.”

"I am privileged to have drafted and coached Tom Brady, the ultimate competitor and winner. Tom’s humble beginning in professional football ultimately ended with him becoming the best player in NFL history,” the longtime coach said. “Tom consistently performed at the highest level against competition that always made him the number one player to stop. His pursuit of excellence was inspirational. Tom was professional on and off the field, and carried himself with class, integrity, and kindness. 

“I thank Tom for his relentless pursuit of excellence and positive impact on me and the New England Patriots for 20 years."

Brady responded to Belichick in kind on Instagram, calling him "the greatest coach in NFL history."

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The 44-year-old finished his career widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time. Brady spent 20 years in New England and just two with Tampa Bay, winning his seventh Super Bowl with the Bucs and his fifth Super Bowl MVP trophy in the 2020 season. He is a three-time NFL MVP, 15-time Pro Bowler and a six-time All Pro. 

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Brady is the league’s all-time passing touchdown (624) and yards leader (85,520). He has tallied the most career wins with 243. He finishes his storied career undefeated against five different franchises: the Falcons (9–0), Vikings (6–0), Cowboys (6–0), Buccaneers (4–0) and Patriots (1–0).

The quarterback was notoriously selected with the 199th in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft, spending his first season working his way up the depth chart. The Brady-Belichick duo that spanned nearly two decades went down as one of the most prolific coach-quarterback tandems to date.

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