THE GOAT LEAVES PASTURE
"I wanted to say thank you to all of the incredible fans and Patriots supporters. [Massachusetts] has been my home for twenty years. It has truly been the happiest two decades I could have envisioned in my life and I have nothing but love and gratitude for my time in New England. The support has been overwhelming. My children were born and raised here and you always embraced this California kid as your own. I love your commitment and loyalty to your teams and winning for our city means more than you will ever know. I can't thank you enough for the support of our team. The packed training camps and sold out stadiums and mostly the victory parades. I have been so blessed to share them with you all.
"I tried to represent us always in the best and most honorable way, and I fought hard with my teammates to help bring victory and triumph even in the most dire situations. You opened your heart to me, and I opened my heart to you. And Pats Nation will always be a part of me. I don't know what my football future holds but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I will always love you and what we have shared -- a lifetime full of fun memories."
-- Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady penned his final goodbye to the fanbase with whom he spent 20 years of his career. In those 20 years, Brady earned three regular-season MVPs, 14 Pro Bowl invitations, three first-team All-Pros, and four Super Bowl MVPs, and helped hang six Super Bowl banners in Gilette Stadium. (Tom Brady via Instagram)
ALL ABOARD THE PIRATE SHIP
"We live! Let's work!"
-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin seems excited to be one of Brady's new weapons in the passing game.
"To be able to play with someone who has played and won multiple Super Bowls … It's truly going to be a blessing."
-- Buccaneers wide receiver Bryant Mitchell just seems happy that Tampa Bay finally has a winner in the building.
"I'm really about to ball with my fav NFL player."
-- Buccaneers linebacker Devin White was two years old when Brady was first drafted. Now, they'll share a locker room.
"I'm instantly thinking we're going to be a contender."
-- Buccaneers linebacker Shaq Barrett may be a little over his skis on this one, but I admire his confidence.
"Tom Brady is an icon and a winner. Excited to have a guy with that type of pedigree in our locker room."
-- Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David notes what might be the most underrated impact of this signing: a locker room leader.
"Hype [flame emoji]"
-- A poet couldn't have put it any better than Buccaneers cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting just did. (The Checkdown via Instagram)
PIRATES DRINK RUM, BUCCANEERS DRINK HENNESSEY
"It's surreal. He's about to be my quarterback bro. I've been on that Hennessey, man. Oh, I'm drinking. I got Tom Brady."
-- Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has every reason to celebrate. (David Jacoby, ESPN via Twitter)
SOME DREAMS COME TRUE, OTHERS … *SHRUG*
"Free agent Robby Anderson said on ESPN that he dreamt last night that he was on the same team as Tom Brady. He said it'd be a 'dream come true' to play with Brady.
"I'm sure he's not the first [wide receiver] to dream [and] think that."
-- New York Daily News' Manish Mehta took to Twitter to break this story about then-free agent wide receiver Robby Anderson, who played against Brady often while with the New York Jets.
"This really ain't a lie [or] stunt on everything. I had a dream we was at practice, maybe it was [just] the Pro Bowl."
-- Anderson quote-Tweeted Mehta's original Tweet with clarification that it really was a dream, just maybe one that won't come true this season. Anderson eventually signed with another of Brady's division rivals, this time ending up with the Carolina Panthers. (Robby Anderson via Twitter)
PRAY FOR ALL THE KITCHEN TABLES IN BUFFALO
"Just a reminder: bars and restaurants are open for takeout and delivery only. So for those of you who want to celebrate Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots, and hopefully leaving the AFC East, there are no mass gatherings. Celebrate responsibly, celebrate at home, and with less than ten people present."
-- Byron Brown, mayor of Buffalo, had to remind Bills Mafia to respect social distancing orders in the wake of the Tom Brady news. (Carly Zielinski via Twitter)
HONESTLY, I STILL DON'T SEE IT
"Someone said it looks like a penis; it did. That says it all right there. That should be enough for the Rams to say we messed up. We're going to keep what we got."
-- Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson isn't a huge fan of the Los Angeles Rams' new logo. Leave it to a man named Dickerson to point out some potentially phallic imagery. (Los Angeles Times)
TAKE IT IN STRIDE
"Damn, I got fired on my day off."
-- Running back Todd Gurley took being cut by the Rams about as well as one could: joking about it on Twitter. Gurley would eventually go on to sign with the Atlanta Falcons. (Todd Gurley via Twitter)
WORKING FROM HOME IS TOUGH FOR EVERYONE
"Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater will be part of a virtual press conference at 2 p.m. today.
"Related: Is Zoom free?"
-- The Athletic's Joe Person announced newly signed Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater would be holding his first press conference via Zoom, tacking on a logistics question to the back end.
"Joe … we use it for company meetings lmao"
-- The Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue comes in to dunk on Person, either calling out his Zoom quip or his lack of attendance at company meetings. (Jourdan Rodrigue, The Athletic via Twitter)
A SHORT LIST TO REMEMBER
"I remember everybody drafted in front of me…"
-- New York Jets safety Jamal Adams posted this self-motivating quote to Twitter.
"Brah it was only 5 people lol"
-- New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore poked a little hole in Adams' previous sentiment. Adams was drafted sixth overall in the 2017 draft. (Marshon Lattimore via Twitter)
… ANYBODY WANT TO SEE IF HE'S GOT MORE IDEAS?
"I've got other ideas too. Send me my agenda, they want to talk about networks. I've got all kinds of ideas on networks. Let's target 6-year-olds to 16-year-olds. How 'bout that? Eventually they're going to be 18 to 35. Let's broadcast our games on Nickelodeon!"
-- Amidst the official announcement of the NFL expanding to a 14-team playoff system, it was revealed that one wild-card game would be simulcast on Nickelodeon as well as CBS. This then led to the resurfacing of this 2016 quote from then-UConn head coach Bobby Diaco, who advocated for the same thing in order to create a younger viewing base. A man ahead of his time. (tcf15 via Twitter)
QUARANTINE'S GONNA GET A LOT OF PEOPLE IN TROUBLE
"Hold on, hold on, hold on. Somebody [in the IG Live comments] said 'You need to run north and south.' F**k you! I averaged 4 yards a carry. What do you mean 'run north and south?' I averaged 4! You couldn't average 4 in high school football."
-- Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen called out someone on his Instagram Live who tried to tell him how to run the football. (Going Deep via Instagram)
THIS MONTH IN SOCIAL MEDIA
THE OFFICE BACKGROUND GETS A NEW ADDITION
— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) March 25, 2020
-- This exchange between Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and ESPN's Dianna Russini led to a small co-star role for Mathieu in the background of Russini's home office.
'DON'T YOU TOUCH MY DRUMSET!'
"Did we just become teammates?"
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) March 26, 2020
-- The Pittsburgh Steelers social media team put together an all-time photoshop to announce they have stockpiled two-thirds of the NFL's supply of Watt brothers.
FOCUS ON THE ESSENTIALS
— Gavin Gundy (@gundy_child) March 13, 2020
-- Gavin Gundy, son of Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, announces to the world that his father's mullet is safe.
WHAT'S HER VERSION OF A WONDERLIC? FLASH CARDS?
Quarantine Combine Day 4. Media Interviews to follow pic.twitter.com/VClyqD4YLJ
— Vincent Grasso (@vinnygrasso2) March 19, 2020
-- Bored at home while quarantined? Put your kids through a full NFL combine! You'll entertain yourself while tiring your kids out!