Over the past 20 years, Tom Brady has established himself as one of the greatest and most beloved athletes in Boston sports history.
But if Brady leaves New England for a new team in free agency this offseason, would that leave a stain on his Patriots legacy? Fellow Boston sports legend David Ortiz doesn't believe so.
The former Red Sox slugger recently spoke with Rob Bradford of WEEI.com about Brady's impending free agency. According to Ortiz, leaving Foxboro behind ahead of his age-43 season won't take away from anything Brady has accomplished with the Pats in the past two decades.
LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.
"His legacy has already been built. It’s always there," Ortiz told Bradford. "That’s not the problem. His problem is not going to be legacy. He could go and play somewhere else for the next 10 years when he returns to New England his legacy is going to be there.
"It’s a good thing to do but you also have to look at your options. I hope he stays with the Patriots, but it’s not up to what I say. It’s his decision. Sometimes an offer at home might be a couple of million less than what you could get on the road. It’s up to you whether you think it’s worth it."
Brady will officially become an unrestricted free agent if he and Patriots don't agree to a contract extension by March 18. Several teams are expected to be in the mix to sign the six-time Super Bowl champion, with the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders as two of the most likely destinations.
Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast here:
Tom Brady may have left the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, but New Englanders are still taking time to appreciate the elite 20-year career he had with the Patriots.
Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback in history. While some will argue that others belong in that conversation, Brady's success in the postseason is simply unparalleled.
Not only does Brady have the most Super Bowl titles and postseason wins of any quarterback in NFL history. He also has more second-half touchdown passes in Super Bowls than any other passer has in all their Super Bowl appearances combined, as the "Boston Sports Info" Twitter account pointed out on Sunday afternoon.
That's insanely impressive. But it also makes sense when factoring in Brady's record amount of Super Bowl appearances. Brady has been to nine Super Bowl during his career while no other quarterback has been to more than five (John Elway).
The Patriots will certainly miss Brady's presence as they attempt to get to the postseason for the 12th consecutive year. They'll likely be relying on second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham to be the starter, barring a surprise.
Meanwhile, Brady will attempt to get the Bucs to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. And he'll try to earn them their first Super Bowl victory since Jon Gruden led them to the promised land 17 years ago.
Tom Brady enjoyed so many incredible moments during his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots, but it's hard to top Super Bowl LI vs. the Atlanta Falcons.
The Patriots' 28-3 comeback victory will forever be remembered as one of the greatest games in NFL history. While Brady has five other Super Bowl titles on his résumé, this particular one will always hold a special place in the hearts of Pats fans, and in the heart of Brady himself.
Now the new quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady posted a photo Sunday to his Instagram story of himself reliving one of his most memorable performances.
Click here for complete Tom Brady coverage and download the MyTeams App for the latest news and analysis
Brady continued to share his live reaction to the game, starting with the mood of every Patriots fan when New England found itself down 21-3 at the start of the third quarter.
He did the same when the Falcons extended their lead to 28-3.
Then he gave a shoutout to his former receiver Danny Amendola, who came up clutch with several plays in the game.
And then another shoutout to linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who made the play of the game with his strip-sack of Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.
When the Patriots stormed all the way back to tie the game at 28 and send it to overtime, Brady pleaded for captain Matthew Slater to call heads for the coin toss.
When James White scampered into the end zone to clinch the unforgettable win, Brady couldn't contain his emotions.
It's only fitting that Brady's viewing of Super Bowl LI comes one day after Patriots fans celebrated the comeback on March 28 (3/28).