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Patriots will honor Tom Brady at this year’s home opener

Patriots owner Robert Kraft (right) called Tom Brady "the greatest player in the history of the game."Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Tom Brady is coming back to Foxborough.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed Thursday he has invited the quarterback, whom Kraft called “the greatest player in the history of the game,” to return for the home opener Sept. 10 against the Eagles and Brady accepted.

The Patriots will open the 2023 slate against the Eagles, the reigning NFC champions, in a 4:25 p.m. game.

“I invited him back to come here and be with us at the opening game and let the fans in New England thank him for the great service he gave us for over 20 years,” Kraft said during an appearance on NFL Network. “And it’ll be the beginning of many celebrations to honor Tom Brady and say thank you for what he did for us, those 20 years playing for the New England Patriots.”

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Brady, of course, helped lead the Patriots to six Super Bowl crowns after being drafted in the sixth round in 2000. He signed with the Buccaneers in 2020 and won a seventh title in his first year in Tampa. He announced his retirement — for a second time — in February.

“When I invited Tommy, [he said] he’s very excited to come back and see our fans and it’ll be a great, great celebration,” Kraft said.

The Patriots will stay at home in Week 2 as well, hosting AFC East rival Miami in a “Sunday Night Football” matchup on Sept 27. New England will travel to South Florida in Week 8, Oct. 29.

Bill Belchick’s club will stay in the division for Week 3, traveling to the Meadowlands for their first battle with the new-look Jets (a.k.a. the Aaron Rodgers Jets) on Sept. 24

The rematch in New England will take place in the regular-season finale on a date still to be determined.

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In Week 4, the Patriots will travel to Dallas for the first time since 2015 for a late afternoon game with the Cowboys on Oct. 1.

The Patriots will follow that up with a Week 5 game against the Saints at Gillette Stadium Oct. 8. For the second straight season, the club will head to Las Vegas to square off with Josh McDaniels’s Raiders, in Week 6 on Oct. 15.

To round out the AFC East schedule, the Patriots will host the Bills, who have won the division three years in a row, in Week 7 on Oct. 22. They’ll travel to what is sure to be chilly Orchard Park, N.Y., for a Week 17 date on New Year’s Eve.

The Patriots will host Josh Allen and the Bills on Oct. 22, and will head to upstate New York for a clash with Buffalo on New Year's Eve.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Commanders come to town on Nov 5. before the Patriots will “host” the Colts in Germany on Nov. 12.

After the Patriots say auf Wiedersehen to Frankfort, they’ll have a bye in Week 11 before facing a tough closing stretch of seven games highlighted by back-to-back-back prime-time games against the Steelers, Chiefs, and Broncos.

First, they will play the Giants in the Meadowlands in Week 12 Nov. 26 before hosting the Chargers in Week 13 Dec. 3.

Belichick and Co. will be Pittsburgh on “Thursday Night Football” Dec. 7 followed by a Dec. 18 date with the Super Bowl champion Chiefs at Gillette on “Monday Night Football.”

The Patriots will return to Mile High for the first time since 2017 when they face the Broncos in Week 16. It’s the second straight season the Patriots are playing on Christmas Eve after hosting the Bengals in 2022.

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The Patriots also announced their exhibition season opponents with a home game against the Texans and road tilts with the Packers and Titans. The dates and times will be revealed at a later time.

There’s a strong chance the Patriots will hold joint practices with at least two of their preseason foes.

The club held practice sessions with the Texans at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia in 2017.

The Patriots held back-to-back joint practice sessions with the Lions and Titans in 2019 and it’s possible the club could embark on an extended road trip and do the same with the Packers and Titans this summer.


Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him @globejimmcbride.