Tom Brady has a long, heartfelt message for Patriots fans on Instagram

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By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Tom Brady posted a lengthy, heartfelt message for Patriots fans to his Instagram account on Wednesday, and also implied that he still wants to play. But will that be in New England?

In the post, Brady thanks Patriots fans for their support over the course of his 20-year career in the National Football League and takes the positives away from an otherwise disappointing end to the 2019 season. He references a quote from former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt along the way.

There are key passages in the post that will be debated and dissected, most notably the last message: "I still have more to prove." One might argue he has nothing left in that department with six Super Bowl championships to his credit. But the comment all-but confirms that he plans to play more football in 2020.

However, he's left open to interpretation whether that means he'll play for the Patriots. He's on track to become a free agent on March 18, and while there should still be a strong possibility that he re-signs with New England, there will have to be concessions and compromises from all corners of the "Big Three" between Brady, head coach Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft.

I just wanted to say to all of our fans, THANK YOU! After a few days of reflection, I am so grateful and humbled by the unconditional support you have shown me the past two decades. Running out of that tunnel every week is a feeling that is hard to explain. I wish every season ended in a win, but that's not the nature of sports (or life). Nobody plays to lose. But the reward for working hard is just that, the work!! I have been blessed to find a career I love, teammates who go to battle with me, an organization that believes in me, and fans who have been behind us every step of the way. Every one of us that works at Gillette Stadium strived to do their best, spent themselves at a worthy cause, and prepared to fail while daring greatly (h/t Teddy Roosevelt). And for that, we've been rewarded with something that the scoreboard won't show - the satisfaction of knowing we gave everything to each other in pursuit of a common goal. That is what TEAM is all about. In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that's right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.

292.6k Likes, 13.9k Comments - Tom Brady (@tombrady) on Instagram: "I just wanted to say to all of our fans, THANK YOU! After a few days of reflection, I am so..."

Here's the full message if you can't see the post:

"I just wanted to say to all of our fans, THANK YOU! After a few days of reflection, I am so grateful and humbled by the unconditional support you have shown me the past two decades. Running out of that tunnel every week is a feeling that is hard to explain. I wish every season ended in a win, but that’s not the nature of sports (or life). Nobody plays to lose. But the reward for working hard is just that, the work!! I have been blessed to find a career I love, teammates who go to battle with me, an organization that believes in me, and fans who have been behind us every step of the way.

Every one of us that works at Gillette Stadium strived to do their best, spent themselves at a worthy cause, and prepared to fail while daring greatly (h/t Teddy Roosevelt). And for that, we’ve been rewarded with something that the scoreboard won’t show - the satisfaction of knowing we gave everything to each other in pursuit of a common goal. That is what TEAM is all about.

In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove."

Tom Brady, Robert Kraft, and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots celebrate with the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Brady, Robert Kraft, and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots celebrate with the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Patriots fans can at least feel encouraged by the fact that Brady is further closing the book on retirement talk. But the question is whether "the arena" means Gillette Stadium. The only guarantee in all this is that it's going to spark all kinds of fresh bickering on the internet.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].