BOSTON (AP) — Whether Tom Brady will return as quarterback of the New England Patriots next season is still an open question. But the 42-year-old on Wednesday gave another indication that he isn't done playing football.
In an Instagram post to fans, Brady said "I still have more to prove" following a season that ended with the Patriots failing to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 2015.
"In both life and football, failure is inevitable," he wrote. "You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again."
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I just wanted to say to all of our fans, THANK YOU! After a few days of reflection, I am so grateful and humbled by the unconditional support you have shown me the past two decades. Running out of that tunnel every week is a feeling that is hard to explain. I wish every season ended in a win, but that’s not the nature of sports (or life). Nobody plays to lose. But the reward for working hard is just that, the work!! I have been blessed to find a career I love, teammates who go to battle with me, an organization that believes in me, and fans who have been behind us every step of the way. Every one of us that works at Gillette Stadium strived to do their best, spent themselves at a worthy cause, and prepared to fail while daring greatly (h/t Teddy Roosevelt). And for that, we’ve been rewarded with something that the scoreboard won’t show - the satisfaction of knowing we gave everything to each other in pursuit of a common goal. That is what TEAM is all about. In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.
New England's season ended with a 20-13 loss in the wild-card round to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night. A six-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Most Valuable Player of the NFL title game and three-time winner of the league MVP, Brady could become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career when his contract ends in March.
That has placed team owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick on the clock to either bring back Brady for his 21st season or watch the franchise's greatest player depart from the only team he's called home.
Belichick said this week that there isn't an established timeline to resolve Brady's status, but he acknowledged that his case is unusual.
"Everybody's situation is different," Belichick said. "Certainly, Tom is an iconic figure in this organization. And nobody respects Tom more than I do."