The second ESPN insiders Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington prematurely reported that Tom Brady was planning to retire over the weekend, fans couldn’t help but wonder if he’d play another year out of spite.
We all know Brady is obsessed with proving folks wrong, so it wasn’t farfetched for fans to talk themselves into the possibility of him returning.
To everyone’s surprise, that didn’t happen.
On Tuesday, the greatest to ever do it took to Instagram to officially announce his retirement from the NFL. It stinks he wasn’t able to do so on his own terms, but that narrative got buried the second Brady failed to mention the Patriots franchise in his nine-slide (!) post.
That’s right, folks. Nine slides and not one single mention of the organization, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft or Boston/Foxborough.
For any fans wondering if this ruffled some feathers within the organization, former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson said he was told Kraft threw a “temper tantrum” after he read Brady’s Instagram post.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft apparently wasn’t happy with Tom Brady’s retirement message.
"“I was told earlier tonight that … it was an unpleasant day today at the executive offices in Foxboro, and that Robert Kraft initially when he first heard the news was very upset,” Johnson said Tuesday on ‘Boston Sports Tonight.’“He was screaming and he was yelling and there was … a temper tantrum that he threw after he read this IG post. So, he was not happy about it in Foxboro, and I’m not surprised.”"
Before everyone jumps to make fun of Kraft, let’s keep in mind that the longtime Patriots owner has often referred to Brady as a son. For all of the reported tension between Brady and the franchise, it was universally understood that Brady and Kraft maintained a strong relationship throughout his Patriots tenure.
Can you really blame Kraft for being this offended? After all, the 80-year-old took the high road on Tuesday by releasing a lengthy statement on TB12, which opened with the line, “Words cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady.”
Brady’s response? A 10-word thank you on Twitter, followed by a string of Instagram Story posts that paid tribute to former Patriots teammates.
Everything Brady posts on social media is calculated, folks.
Whether he intended to offend Kraft and other Patriots higher-ups with his retirement post is open for interpretation.
We just can’t fault Kraft for being upset that Brady’s initial initial farewell message didn’t include a single mention of the team that took a chance on him with the No. 199 overall pick back in 2000 and helped groom him into the greatest NFL player of all time.
Given the influence he had on Brady’s career, their personal relationship, and how much thought he put into his tribute statement, the Patriots’ owner — and the fans, obviously — deserved better from Brady than falling second in line to Buccaneers ownership, Bruce Arians, GM Jason Licht and the city of Tampa.