Tom Brady was honored at Gillette Stadium Sunday when the Patriots hosted the Philadelphia Eagles.
Brady ran onto the field to a joyous crowd that stuck around through rain that hammered the Northeast all weekend.
Brady, who helped guide the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles, declared himself “a Patriot for life.”
“Nobody 23 years ago would imagine that this journey would bring us here today,” Brady said.
“All our lives take us on different journeys. They take us to different places, they bring different people into our lives,” he added. “But one thing I am sure of — and that will never change — is that I am a Patriot for life.”
Brady quarterbacked the Patriots from 1999 to 2019. He left after the Pats were eliminated from the 2019-20 playoffs. He joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and led the Bucs to a Super Bowl title. Brady did not make it back to the NFC championship in either of his final two seasons.
He retired “for good” after the 2022 season.
Patriots team owner Robert Kraft said he wanted to give the fans a chance to properly thank Brady.
“That run out was a little longer today than it used to be. I’m not quite in game shape,” Brady said. “But it’s impossible for me to be in this stadium … and not run out, like I did for 20 years.”
Kraft said he would waive the franchise’s four-year waiting period for Brady and induct him into the Patriots Hall of Fame next year.
Brady is the all-time leader in passing touchdowns (649) and passing yards (89,214).