Tom Brady, the most successful quarterback in NFL history, announced Wednesday that he is retiring from the sport he dominated for years.
“I know the process was pretty big last time, so when I woke up this morning I thought I’d just hit record and let you know first,” Brady said in a video on Twitter. “I won’t be long. You only get one super emotional retreat trial, and I used mine last year, so really thank you so much to each and every one of you for supporting me.
Brady’s ruthless commitment to winning was legendary and it wasn’t until his final season that there were signs his skill had started to wane, although by then he had scored 4,694 yards, the third most in the NFL. The 45-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a losing record — the first of Brady’s career as a starter — and only limped into the playoffs because other NFC South teams were still worse. They were easily beaten in the first round of the playoffs by the Dallas Cowboys.
Brady’s list of accomplishments is almost as long as his career. His seven Super Bowl victories — six with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — are the most by any player in NFL history. He also holds the NFL record for career passing touchdowns (649) and passing yards (89,214). Other darker statistics are equally impressive: No other quarterback has played in a Super Bowl after age 40 – Brady has played in three, winning two; its 35 playoff wins are more than 13 other teams have appeared; and, remarkably, he has appeared in nearly a fifth of the Super Bowls ever played.
“My family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors — I could go on and on, there’s just too many of them,” Brady said in Wednesday’s video. “Thank you guys for letting me live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love you all.”
This isn’t Brady’s first farewell. He first announced his retirement exactly a year ago before deciding to return to the Buccaneers 40 days later, citing “unfinished business”. However, Tampa was weakened by injuries and Brady appeared to be plagued by off-court issues as his senior season came to an end.
Brady was notoriously undervalued out of college. There were 198 players – including six quarterbacks – selected ahead of Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft before the New England Patriots selected him. Patriots owner Robert Kraft later recalled Brady introducing himself, saying, “I’m Tom Brady and I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.”
Brady was right. He started as New England’s fourth-string quarterback and slowly rose through the ranks to become Drew Bledsoe’s replacement. When Bledsoe was injured early in the 2001 season, Brady took over and barely looked back. He would go on to win seven Super Bowl titles, three NFL MVP awards, and almost every significant quarterback record in league history.
“I think I’ve been recorded dozens of times saying there’s no quarterback I’d rather have than Tom Brady, and I still feel that way,” coach Bill Belichick said. with whom Brady won six New England titles. in 2021. “I was very lucky to have Tom as my quarterback, to coach him, and he was as good as any coach could ever ask for.”
Brady’s fellow athletes paid tribute to him on Wednesday.
“Greatest ever. No question, no debate. It was an honor and a privilege,” three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt wrote on Twitter.
Former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter, who dominated Major League Baseball the same way Brady did in the NFL, praised the quarterback “for an incredible career. It was funny to watch.”
Brady is now likely to focus on his money-making interests off the pitch. He owns fashion and wellness businesses and signed a 10-year broadcast deal with Fox Sports last year. The New York Post reported the deal was worth $375 million, surpassing the $332 million Brady earned in salary during his NFL career.