New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 03: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers waves to the crowd as he runs off the field after defeating the New England Patriots in the game at Gillette Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

In his return to Foxborough for the first time since leaving in March of 2020, Tom Brady didn’t sound like somebody done with the Patriots organization. Not by a long shot. On a night where Brady’s unofficial return was the top headline, it seems as though an official reintroduction is a possibility in the future.

It started with Robert Kraft, who told NFL Network before the game “In the end, I hope and believe he’ll come back here and we’ll give him his red jacket, and he’ll retire a Patriot.” That’s likely hinting at some kind of one-day contract situation once Brady decides he’s ready to hang up his cleats.

Asked about Kraft’s comment after the game, Brady evasively didn’t rule that possibility out, while having some fun with the reporter in the process.

“Are you offering me a one-day contract or did he offer me that?,” Brady joked. “He didn’t offer me that, so…I still got some time left with the Bucs, and like I said, really enjoying that. We got a lot to accomplish this year. It’s a tough challenging year. It’s a marathon of a season. It’s only four games in. There is a lot football to be played. It feels good to win on the road, so happy we did that.”

Whatever his retirement looks like, Brady did say he plans to be a presence around the organization and in New England once he is finally done playing. “I’ll be part of this community for a long time,” Brady remarked during the NBC postgame interview. “They’ll see me around, I’ll be here [for] games. When it’s all said and done and I retire, I’ll be around and they’ll get a chance to see more of me.” 

When asked a similar question in his post game press conference about potentially playing his last ever game at Gillette Stadium, Brady gave a similar answer. “I feel like I’ll always be a part of this community. I’ll be up here quite a bit when it’s all said and done,” he said. “When I retire I’m sure there will be a lot of time for – you know, I have a lot of friends up here and it’s a great place. My kids were born on Beacon Street in the city. It’s been an amazing place for me, it still is.”

However, Brady didn’t rule out playing at least one more game at Gillette Stadium. “It’s been a great stadium for me for a long time. I don’t know what the future holds. Obviously could be an opportunity to come back here,” he said. The way the NFL schedules the new 17th game in the regular season, it is possible the Buccaneers could play in Foxborough as early as 2023. That would happen if they and the Patriots finish in the same spot in their respective divisions in 2022.

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Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.