Tom Brady Patriots Hall of Fame induction: Robert Kraft retires No. 12, previews statue for legendary QB

Written by on June 13, 2024

Tom Brady had already etched his place atop the pantheon of New England Patriots history, but Wednesday’s induction into the franchise’s Hall of Fame made it official. The legendary quarterback received his red jacket in a historic ceremony held inside a Gillette Stadium that was filled with fans. 

Robert Kraft had previously announced that the team, for the first time, would waive its four-year waiting period for the Patriots Hall of Fame to immediately enshrine Brady. The club had specifically picked June (the sixth month of the year) to signify his six Super Bowl titles and the 12th to acknowledge his number, which was also retired to cap off the ceremony. 

Over the course of the two-plus hour ceremony, the franchise encapsulated not only his two decades with the franchise but dating back to his upbringing with his family, who were all in attendance. Droves of former teammates were in Foxborough and a handful took the stage to recap their time playing alongside Brady and shared various stories. 

Before all that, however, the show began with a live performance from legendary rap artist Jay-Z, who introduced Brady with his song “Public Service Announcement,” which had been adopted by the quarterback when he’d take the field in Foxborough. After that, WWE star John Cena, a Massachusetts native, narrated Brady’s introduction video.

Comedian Bill Burr and NBC’s Mike Tirico took turns driving the show with Burr, naturally, providing the comedic relief, while Tirico interviewed various Brady teammates that came onto the stage. Vince Wilfork, Devin McCourty, Ty Law, and Willie McGinest were the first Patriots alums to enter the stage and praised Brady’s competitiveness and prowess as a leader. 

At one point, the Patriots played a video of various rivals that Brady had over his tenure, including Eli Manning, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Charles Woodson, Michael Strahan, Patrick Mahomes, and Jason Taylor. Each of them congratulated his induction and Woodson even jabbed him about the Tuck Rule, finishing his toast with, “And by the way, it was a damn fumble.” 

After that video aired, Brady was surprised by Peyton Manning, who made an in-person appearance. The two greats shared stories of their epic matchups along with a private workout they had together during one offseason. Brady acknowledged that he had looked up to Manning “since he was a No. 1 rated high school recruit.”

Brady’s former teammates continued to take the stage throughout the evening. Former quarterbacks Drew Bledsoe, Matt Cassell, and Brian Hoyer accompanied former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for one panel. 

“You were the worst backup quarterback in the history of the NFL,” Bledsoe joked. “You never understood that when I got healthy that you were supposed to go sit the hell down.”

Then, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Randy Moss, and Julian Edelman spoke about being Brady’s go-to targets. As they were introduced, Moss, who was reflecting on his arrival in 2007, received one of the loudest non-Brady ovations of the night, which brought him to tears. 

Every aspect that Brady’s career touched was referenced throughout the night. Boston sports legends David Ortiz, Paul Pierce, Patrice Bergeron, and Taylor Twellman were featured in a tribute video, to commemorate his part in the city’s string of championships. Announcers Jim Nantz, Joe Buck, Chris Berman, Al Michaels, and Rich Eisen all congratulated Brady in another video just before a live rendition of “The Boys of Fall” by country music artist Kenny Chesney. 

Just before Brady’s official induction, and after most of the key figures throughout the dynasty had made an appearance, one of the headlining moments of the night came when Bill Belichick was introduced by Troy Brown and Deion Branch. This was the legendary coach’s first appearance at Gillette Stadium since he and the team parted ways with one another earlier this offseason. As you may expect, Belichick was met with a thunderous and long applause. 

“Thanks so much. Such a warm welcome. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to come back here and see the Patriot Nation of fans,” said Belichick.

Of Brady, he said it was a “Tremendous honor and privilege to draft and coach Tom for 20 years” and also noted that his one-on-one meetings with Brady during their time together were “some of the best days that I had as a coach in my career.” 

Finally, it was time for Brady to officially receive his red jacket, which was presented to him by Robert Kraft. Just before that, however, Kraft announced that Brady’s No. 12 would be retired by the franchise and that the team has commissioned a 12-foot statue that will be unveiled this upcoming season.

“Tonight, I promise that [No. 12] will never be worn again,” said Kraft.

Donning his newest red jacket, Brady then addressed the crowd, saying “It feels good to be home.” He also thanked everyone who impacted his career across the way ranging from his family, friends, agents teammates, coaches, and Robert Kraft. 

Brady concluded his speech with, “I am Tom Brady, and I am a Patriot.” 

Again, Brady was already imprinted in Patriots history, now he’ll officially be forged with the franchise forever.  

The post Tom Brady Patriots Hall of Fame induction: Robert Kraft retires No. 12, previews statue for legendary QB first appeared on CBS Sports.


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