How do you pay respect to the greatest player in your franchise's history -- while he tries to blow your team out on your own field?
That's what the Patriots had to decide ahead of Sunday night's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which will mark Tom Brady's first trip to Gillette Stadium since leaving New England in 2020 free agency.
The Patriots have a plan for Brady, though. According to owner Robert Kraft, the team will play a one-minute tribute to Brady on the Gillette Stadium video board moments before Brady and the Bucs take the field.
"Right before the Buccaneers come out, you look at the big board, and for one minute, we're going to run something that I think is very respectful and worthy," Kraft said Sunday on ESPN's "NFL Countdown."
The Brady tribute likely won't stop there. The 44-year-old quarterback needs just 68 yards to pass Drew Brees as the NFL's all-time passing yards leader, a feat he'll likely accomplish early in Sunday night's game.
Kraft said the game will be stopped to acknowledge Brady's milestone if (when) he breaks Brees' record.
"If he winds up breaking the record -- although I guess in some ways I hope he doesn't, but realistically, he will -- the game will stop and we will honor that moment out of respect to him as a great athlete," Kraft said.
The fanfare likely won't resemble what the New Orleans Saints did for Brees in 2018: stopping the game to invite Brees' family onto the field to celebrate. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning the Patriots will "pause to acknowledge the achievement but will not stop the game for a ceremony."
So, when Brady hits 68 passing yards Sunday night, expect some sort of message on the video board, a roar from the Gillette Stadium crowd and perhaps a hand wave of acknowledgment from Brady before the game resumes.
The Patriots will do everything in their power to delay Brady's achievement, and the quarterback may have a tougher time without longtime tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is sidelined with a rib injury.
But something tells us TB12 will be on his A-game at the house where he built his legacy.