Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady leaving Patriots

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(AP) - Tom Brady is an NFL free agent for the first time in his career.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady walks on the field before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The 42-year-old quarterback with six Super Bowl rings said on Instagram on Tuesday morning that he is leaving the New England Patriots.

Brady posted on social media “my football journey will take place elsewhere. ... I have nothing but love and gratitude for my time in New England."

The one-year contract Brady signed before last season expires Wednesday afternoon.

Though he officially hits the league’s open market Wednesday, he could reach agreement with another team on Tuesday when players and clubs can negotiate deals.

A four-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and three-time league MVP, Brady has been the enduring face of the Patriots and the most-celebrated player of his generation.

Now, he will be leading another NFL team for his 21st pro season.

Comments from owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick made clear Brady’s remarkable stint in New England is over.

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