NFL legend and seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady officially announced his retirement from the game after 22 seasons on Tuesday. Brady's retirement comes after days of denial but finally on Tuesday he announced the much-anticipated decision to call it quits via a social media post.
"I have always believed the sport of football is an 'all-in' proposition -- if a 100% competitive commitment isn't there, you won't succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game," said the 44-year-old who arguably is the greatest NFL quarterback of all time.
End of an Era
There was a lot of speculation about Brady's retirement over the past few days, which was put to rest on Tuesday. "There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life," Brady wrote of Instagram announcing his retirement.
"This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention."
"I've done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes," he added.
Brady's retirement comes at the end of his second season with Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington, as well as The Boston Globe, reported over the weekend that Brady was retiring, citing anonymous sources. Brady himself had initially denied it but on Tuesday he made it official, bringing an end to an illustrious career.
Long Live the Legend
A source who has information on Brady's retirement told CNN on Sunday that "Brady contacted (Tampa Bay) Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht (on Saturday) to inform him he has yet to make a final decision about his future."
Announcing his retirement, Brady also thanked him wife Gisele and his children for being supportive, with whom he now intends to spend more time.
Interestingly, Brady didn't mention anything about the Patriots in his retirement message. Of the seven Super Bowls seasons Brady won, six of those came during his 20-year run in New England.
But in his statement published on social media, Brady did not say anything about his former team. Instead, he thanked his present team Buccaneers with whom he spent just two seasons.
After leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl victory last year, the 44-year-old inked a one-year, $25 million contract extension. A $20 million signing bonus was included in the deal, $15 million of which would have been given to him on Friday. Brady certainly saved the Bucs $15 million by retiring, however they can choose to give him his entire signing bonus.
Brady was drafted 199th overall in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draught by the Patriots, where he spent 20 seasons.
After the 2020 season, he became a free agent and joined with the Buccaneers, where he led the team to a Super Bowl victory in his first season.
With the Super Bowl win with Tampa Bay, Brady joined Peyton Manning as the only starting quarterbacks in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with multiple teams.
Brady has surpassed Terry Bradshaw (four) and Joe Montana (five) as the first quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to seven Super Bowl victories (four). Brady has appeared in 10 Super Bowls, more than any other team in Super Bowl history (the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and Pittsburgh Steelers each have eight).