Despite winning three Super Bowl championships together over 10 seasons, Devin McCourty didn’t have any inside scoops on Tom Brady’s future plans.

Brady bookended Day 2 of the NFL’s legal tampering period with monumental news. After the star quarterback kicked off the day by announcing his intention to leave the New England Patriots, it later was revealed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the winners of the TB12 sweepstakes.

McCourty learned of Brady departing New England just as the casual football fan did, but he began to see the writing on the wall as the start of free agency neared.

“I mean, I found out about Tom leaving the same way y’all did. On Twitter,” McCourty wrote in a letter published on The Players’ Tribune. “But I kind of knew when we got closer to free agency and he didn’t have a deal done that he wasn’t coming back. It’s still a little surreal because … it’s TOM, you know? He’s been here 20 years. He’s won six rings. He’s the greatest to ever do it. So it definitely won’t be the same now that he’s gone.

“But honestly, I’m happy for him. He’s earned the right to finish his career wherever he wants and chase whatever he feels like he needs to chase.”

The veteran safety also joked he’s glad Brady is continuing the chase in the NFC.

In an offseason littered with exits from Foxboro, McCourty and his twin brother, Jason, were two of the few mainstays among the team’s free agents this offseason. Their leadership will be of the essence in the upcoming season when the Patriots begin the post-Brady era.

More Patriots: Devin McCourty Explains Why He Re-Signed In New England

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