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Brady leads tributes to departing Belichick

Bill Belichick

Tom Brady led the tributes to Bill Belichick after it was announced he’d be leaving the New England Patriots after 24 trophy-laden years at the helm.

Belichick’s departure was confirmed yesterday with the 71-year-old now free to pursue other opportunities in the NFL.

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He leaves a remarkable legacy in New England having guided the team to 17 division championships in 19 years and nine trips to the Super Bowl with six wins.

Brady starred in each of those six Super Bowl triumphs and was quick to lavish praise on Belichick following the announcement.


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A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady)

Brady’s favourite target during much of his career in Foxborough was Rob Gronkowski and the tight end was another to pay tribute to his former boss.


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A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk)

Belichick himself said during an emotional farewell that he’d “always be a Patriot” and added: “We had a vision of building a championship football team that has exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations. I’m very proud of that. I’ll always have those great memories, will carry those with me the rest of my life.”

Owner Robert Kraft added: “Coach Belichick will forever be celebrated as a legendary sports icon here in New England, and I believe go in as a Pro Football Hall of Famer on the first ballot. 

“Why? Because he is the greatest coach of all time, which makes this decision to part ways so hard. But this is a move that we mutually agreed that is needed at this time. 

“What Bill accomplished with us, in my opinion, will never be replicated. And the fact that it was done in the salary-cap and free-agency era makes it even more extraordinary. 

“I thank Coach Bill for his hard work and dedication. It will be difficult to see him in a cut-off hoodie on the sideline, but I always will continue to wish him continued success except when he’s playing our beloved Patriots.”

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