With the New England Patriots' season officially over, Tom Brady is now a free agent for the first time in his storied career. What that means for the 42-year-old quarterback's future remains to be seen.
Shortly after falling to the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card Round, Brady told reporters he has no plans to retire.
"I love the Patriots," Brady said, per The Athletic's Jeff Howe. "I don't know what the future looks like. I'm not going to predict."
If this is the end of Brady's time in New England, he'll have gone out in a way that's the least indicative of his time with the Pats. Faced with a 99-yard drive to advance to the AFC Divisional Round, Brady was promptly intercepted on the first play and watched helplessly as Titans cornerback Logan Ryan trotted into the end zone for a pick-six.
The Patriots are unable to use a franchise tag on Brady this offseason.
A six-time Super Bowl champion, Brady's rise to the top of the NFL has become football lore. After being drafted 199th overall out of Michigan in 2000, Brady supplanted Drew Bledsoe as the face of New England's franchise after the latter suffered an injury early in the 2001 season. Brady won his first Super Bowl that year and began his run of dominance.
As the Patriots starter, Brady has a regular-season record of 219-64 to go with a record 30 playoff victories in 41 contests.
The list of NFL franchises in need of an experienced quarterback isn't short, and teams have long coveted Brady's abilities.
That being said, one of the knocks against Brady throughout his career is that he was only successful with head coach Bill Belichick running the team. Whether or not that's true could finally be answered if Brady joins a new team during the offseason.
Any decision regarding his future seems a ways off, but one is certainly coming, and the NFL will be holding its collective breath until it's announced.