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Brady announced in a lengthy Instagram message his football journey was taking him elsewhere as his contract is set to void Wednesday. Kraft told ESPN he and Brady talked about the quarterback’s decision Monday night.
“Tommy initiated contact last night & came over. We had a positive, respectful discussion. 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,” Kraft said.
Kraft appeared to be willing to let Brady test free agency, giving that it would have been the first time in his career he would have done so. According to the NFL Network, Kraft was willing to let Brady explore other options before potentially returning to New England.
The Patriots reportedly wanted to see if any team was willing to offer him a big deal, which would let them either negotiate with Brady or let him walk away.
Word of a potential contract offer leaked last week and it appeared to be the final straw for Brady.
The star quarterback had a less than productive phone conversation with coach Bill Belichick regarding his future with the Patriots two weeks ago, and on Friday, WEEI’s Dale Arnold revealed that the six-time Super Bowl champion was offered a one-year contract for less than he made last year during said conversation.
“This is what I was told happened: There was a phone call between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. There was not a negotiation. There wasn’t a: ‘We will offer you a two-year deal at X number of dollars,’” Arnold said.
“What I was told happened was the Patriots told Tom Brady that all they can do is a one-year deal at less money than he made last year because of the $13.5 million that gets tacked onto the salary cap and basically, ‘What we’re going to be able to do here, Tom, is a one-year deal, but it’s not going to be for as much money as you got last year,’” he added.
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.