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Tom Brady is making his return to New England — but his time, he won't be in a Patriots uniform.
The 44-year-old quarterback will face off against his former team at Gillette Stadium for the first time as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 3. He'll also be coming back as a defending Super Bowl champion, having won his seventh ring earlier this year.
Brady's return will undoubtedly be an emotional one for everyone involved — the Patriots became the preeminent NFL team of the last 20 years with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach. They won six of nine Super Bowls the team played in and set a new standard for success in the league.
But Brady's father, Tom Brady Sr., felt the time was right for his son to move on from the team in 2020.
"Damn right," Brady Sr. said on NBC's Tom Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast this week. "Belichick wanted him out the door and last year he threw 56 touchdowns. I think that's a pretty good year."
When asked by Curran if his son also felt that way about leaving the Patriots, Brady Sr. didn't hesitate when answering, "Damn right."
Brady announced he was ending his run with the Patriots in March 2020, and signed with the Buccaneers just days later.
Brady Sr. said he and the family will still feel emotional about coming back to the city they called home for 20 years.
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"Very nostalgic," Brady Sr. said on the podcast. "That was our home for 20 years. The fans embraced Tommy, the city embraced Tommy and the team embraced Tommy for a while. And so, when he comes home it's gonna be a real treat that he spent 20 years making his mark in Boston. We owe a lot to the Patriots and a lot to Boston."
"Like every phase in life, things move on. Our kids get older, our kids move on," he added. "They move out of the house, they go elsewhere. And that's kind of what it's like for Tommy right now where he's moved elsewhere and wherever he is, we support our kids, and Tommy's no different than the rest of us."