In a past interview, New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft said he’s hoping and praying that veteran quarterback Tom Brady stays with the team. In that interview with Peter King of Pro Football Talk, Kraft said he loves Brady like he’s part of his blood family due to his 20-year stay with the team. However, Kraft said that if Brady won’t return to the Patriots, he hopes that the 42-year-old quarterback retires and not play for another team. On Tuesday, Kraft bumped into TMZ Sports in New York City and was asked by a cameraman “are we going to keep Tom in New England, Bob?”, to which he replied “we plan to!” before his ride took off.

Kraft’s statement provided another glimmer of hope for Patriots fans who were hoping that Brady would end his career with the team and not suit up for another organization. Kraft’s statement also underscored his desire to stick with Brady and not to get a veteran quarterback via free agency or put the fate of the team on the hands of young signal-caller Jarrett Stidham. The Patriots have now until March 18 to sign Brady to a contract to prevent him from foraying into the free-agent market where he could receive lucrative offers from other teams.

However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that Brady plans to listen to pitches from other teams.

Brady provides hope for fans

On Tuesday, Brady’s Instagram story provided hope that he would stay in New England when he posted a “Stay Tom” message drawn in the snow by some Patriots fans somewhere in the Boston area. In that story, Brady issued a heartfelt message to fans, saying “Love you all.” Brady is set to become a free agent for the first time in his 20-year career on March 18.

In his latest interview, Brady said that he will be open-minded to the free agency process and embrace whatever the future brings. He was rumored to be joining the Los Angeles Chargers and the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders, but analysts say that the Patriots give him the best chance to win another Super Bowl ring before he retires. During his interview with Jim Gray on Westwood One Radio, Brady said he wants to prove to himself that he can still win his seventh Super Bowl ring.

Patriots must provide Brady with additional weapons

If Brady returns to the Patriots, Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss insisted that the team must provide him with additional weapons that will help him succeed. In a recent episode of “Get Up”, ESPN analyst Mike Greenberg said the Patriots let Brady down last season by not providing him with enough weapons. The Patriots finished the regular season with a 12-4 mark, but they failed to clinch a first-round bye following a devastating loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 17. In the Wild Card Game, the Patriots lost to the Tennessee Titans, 20-13.

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