Candidates for the New England Patriots Hall of Fame must be at least four years removed from their playing/coaching career to be eligible for the red jacket.
But Tom Brady isn't just any candidate.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced Sunday that Brady will be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame on June 12, 2024, less than two years after his last NFL season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2022.
"Tom, there’s not enough time for me, my family and all our fans to say ‘thank you’ to you,” Kraft said during a ceremony at halftime of New England's season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. “So we look forward to doing it at that Hall of Fame ceremony — 6/12/24."
In addition to waiving the minimum four-year waiting period to induct Brady, the team also will hold Brady's Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony inside Gillette Stadium for the first time. All previous ceremonies were held in the Patriot Place plaza just outside the Stadium.
It's a nice gesture by Kraft and the Patriots, who rolled out the red carpet for Brady on Sunday both before and during their season opener. Brady is a shoo-in for both the Patriots Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame -- he won six Super Bowl titles in 20 seasons with the Patriots, holds countless NFL records and is the greatest quarterback of all time -- so Kraft and the Patriots decided there's no use waiting around to honor the GOAT.
New England Patriots
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a five-year minimum waiting period for players and coaches, so the earliest Brady can enter Canton is 2027 -- unless the voting committee decides to make a similar exception for TB12.