Tom Brady was more than just a quarterback to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Their relationship went beyond Brady's performance on the field and the six Super Bowl titles he brought to the organization.
Kraft opened up about that relationship with a heartfelt video released shortly after Brady's retirement announcement. In the three-and-a-half minute video, Kraft reflected on not only what Brady meant to the Patriots, but also what the legendary QB meant to him personally off the field.
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Read everything Kraft had to say in the video below:
"When I heard Tommy's announcement today, it just made me pause and think how lucky we were and are at the New England Patriots to be part of something that's been in existence for over 100 years. And whether it's 50,000 or 100,000 players who have played the game, we have had the number one player in the history of the game play for the New England Patriots, and I sort of pinched myself on that how it happened. It's sort of a great lesson for young people who have to defy the odds and dream their dreams and really go for it. Because here, Tommy was the 199th pick in the sixth round. Didn't get to start the way he should have in college, and thank God for that because that allowed us to draft him where we did. But then he came in and beat all the odds and developed the greatest record in the history of any quarterback in the game, and in the process winning seven Super Bowls. We were really lucky to have him.
"As fierce as he was as a competitor and as tough as he could be, had a great heart and was a great human being. I think that came from his family where he had great parents and three wonderful sisters, and he always showed love. It allowed me in the 23 years that I've known him to love him like a son and have a connection that's pretty special. The great memories that I have at this moment with Tommy, I was thinking on the field and off the field where there are six great ones on the field. When he met me and told me he was the best decision this organization has ever made, I really felt he was right.
"I think how when my beloved Myra was dying and how he helped me get through that, and how supportive and loving he was to me. But also, I thought of how I had the privilege of going to his wedding down in Costa Rica approximately 13 years ago to a small group and enjoying that special moment in his life with his family. And then just a couple months ago, he coming to my wedding celebration and skipping something that was important to him. Showing love and respect to something very important to me. It's hard to find those relationships in this world and I truly cherish special relationships, and so fortunate to have had Tom Brady in my life."
Kraft also released a written statement about Brady after the 45-year-old's retirement, as did Bill Belichick. It's a matter of when -- not if -- Brady will get his No. 12 jersey retired in Foxboro. Perhaps Brady will also sign a one-day contract to officially retire a Patriot.
While his playing days are behind him, Brady's career in football will continue. He'll join the FOX booth as a lead analyst after signing a $375 million contract with the network last year.