Tom Brady is set to be a free agent for the upcoming NFL season, with many fans wondering whether the star player will remain with his team of 20 years

By Jen Juneau
January 08, 2020 10:31 AM
Advertisement
Credit: Adam Glanzman/Getty

It doesn’t sound like Tom Brady will be headed to another team anytime soon.

The New England Patriots ended their 2019 season with a loss against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night, but “after a few days of reflection,” their superstar quarterback wrote a lengthy, heartfelt message on Instagram to express that he was “so grateful and humbled by the unconditional support” his fans have given him.

“I wish every season ended in a win, but that’s not the nature of sports (or life). Nobody plays to lose,” wrote Brady, who has helped his team clinch six Super Bowl wins, including last season. “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.”

The longtime athlete, 42, went on in his Wednesday post to praise his team and their work, saying that they have “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,” Brady continued. “And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.”

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The Patriots fell to the Titans 20-13, which put them out of the running to vie for another championship.

The loss — as well as his first absence from the 2020 Pro Bowl roster in more than 10 years — sparked rumors that Brady may retire, but the football legend assured fans that the Titans game wasn’t the last time they would see him play.

“I would say it’s pretty unlikely,” the quarterback told reporters on Saturday after the team’s defeat when asked if he had plans to retire and not return in 2020 for a 21st season, “Hopefully unlikely.”

Brady is set to be a free agent for the upcoming NFL season, with many fans wondering whether the star player will remain with his team of 20 years. “Who knows what the future holds? We’ll leave it at that,” he told reporters.

“I love the Patriots. They have the greatest organization. Playing for Mr. Kraft all these years and coach Belichick, there’s nobody who has had a better career than me, just being with them,” Brady added. “I’m very blessed. I don’t know what the future looks like, so I’m not going to predict it.”

Tom Brady
| Credit: Elise Amendola/AP/Shutterstock

RELATED VIDEO: Tom Brady Expected Son Benjamin, 9½, to Love Sports as Much as Jack, 11: “It Was Hard for Me”

Brady previously raised eyebrows about the future of his career when he and wife Gisele Bündchen listed their Brookline, Massachusetts-area home on the market for a cool $39 million last summer.

Hoping to quell fears that he would be leaving New England anytime soon, the player appeared on WEEI radio in August to assure fans that he was sticking around.

“I’m in a great mental, emotional place to approach the season,” he said. “There is no point in worrying about things like that. There are so many hypotheticals — this and that — and if you spend time all your time and energy on those things, you (lose) track of what’s most important, which is what’s happening right now. This is where I want to be. This is the team I want to be a part of and leading. There’s really not much to read into it than that.”

“I am certainly at a place — we have been at the same place for a long time and I love playing for the Patriots,” Brady added. “I have such a great relationship with Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick and our team. We’ll worry about that when that happens. This isn’t the time to worry about it.”