Tom Brady announces retirement from NFL ‘for good’ after 23 seasons and seven Super Bowl triumphs
Seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady has announced his retirement from the NFL “for good”.
The 45-year-old confirmed the news in a short video on social media having initially announced his retirement on February 1 last year before reversing his decision to return for his 23rd season just 40 days later.
“Good morning guys, I will get to the point right away. I am retiring. For good,” said Brady.
“I know the process was a pretty big deal last time so when I woke up this morning I figured I would just press record and let you guys know first.
“It won’t be long-winded, you only get one super emotional retirement essay and I used mine up last year.
“Really thank you guys so much, to every single one of you for supporting me.
“My family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors, I could go on forever, there is too many.
“Thank you guys for letting me live my absolute dream and I wouldn’t change a thing.
“Love you all.”
Brady hangs up his cleats as a seven-time Super Bowl champion, a five-time Super Bowl MVP, a three-time league MVP, a 15-time Pro Bowler, a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection and the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (89,214), passing touchdowns (649), quarterback wins (251) and pass completions (7,753).
Such has been the unparalleled nature of his longevity that Brady retires having thrown for more passing yards (27,632) and passing touchdowns (193) in his 40s than he did in his 20s (21,564 passing yards, 147 passing touchdowns).
His last year ended with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffering a 31-14 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Brady could be set to head to the TV booth having previously agreed a 10-year deal worth £375m to become lead NFL analyst for Fox Sports once he had retired.
Brady won six Super Bowl rings and 17 AFC titles in 20 seasons as part of Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots dynasty team having famously been the 199th pick out of Michigan at the 2000 NFL Draft.
He later signed with the Buccaneers in free agency of 2020 before guiding Bruce Arians’ team to Super Bowl glory against the Kansas City Chiefs in his first season. The future Hall of Famer went on to lead the league in passing completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns in 2021 as he reached the Divisional Round of the playoffs before falling to the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams.
A difficult 2022 both on and off the field saw Brady record the first losing season of his career as he finished 490 of 733 passing (66.8 per cent) for 4,694 yards (third in the league) and 25 touchdowns to nine interceptions in a stuttering Bucs offense.
Upon reversing his original decision to retire, however, Brady succeeded in fulfilling his ambitions of playing at the age of 45, while also becoming the first player to reach 85,000 passing yards in league history and the first to 100,000 yards in the regular season and postseason combined. He additionally surpassed Peyton Manning for most game-winning drives of all time as well as featuring in the first regular season game in Germany and snapping his own record for most completions in a campaign.
Brady had hinted at a farewell in the wake of Tampa Bay’s playoff defeat to the Cowboys, doffing his cap to fans as he exited the field before thanking the Bucs organisation and local media in his post-game press conference. Ultimately, it was both a goodbye to the team and the league as the greatest to play the game ended things with the most simple of messages and this time, most importantly, on his own terms.
And yet somehow, someway, there remains the feeling the body would allow him to go on, even now. His sustained success makes for a legacy to which no other player will likely come close to matching.
Reinebold: ‘Nobody could have predicted Brady’s success’
Sky Sports NFL’s Jeff Reinebold…
“He’s such an outlier in pro sports, because to be able to compete as well as he competed this year at 45 just doesn’t happen in any sport.
“He’s done an amazing job of taking care of his body and being so single-point focused about the game and eliminating distractions – wouldn’t even eat ice cream! That’s how focused he was.
“It says an awful lot about who he is as a man and how he cares about his teammates. Everybody has their favourite Tom Brady moment, my favourite Tom Brady moment of all of them was watching him on the sideline after they intercepted the pass against Seattle on the goalline to ensure they were going to be Super Bowl champions. He’s jumping up and down and squealing like the little kid at his first football match, it was just so much raw emotion, no caring about how he looked, he was just purely in the moment, that’s the Tom Brady I’ll carry forward.
“Another lesson Tom gave us through all those 23 seasons, is it was never about Tom Brady, it was about finding a way to win, to become a champion and as a football team to go where 31 other teams couldn’t go. He did it more than anybody that’s ever played the game.
“I went back to Hawaii last year and he played as a senior against the University of Hawaii, I looked back and there was nothing on the film that could have predicted this would be the greatest quarterback that would ever take a snap in the NFL. He was a self-made man, everybody thought when he left Belichick it would fall apart – no.
“He was able to go into a completely new system with new players around him in Tampa Bay and win another Super Bowl, which to me solidifies his legacy as the greatest that ever played.”
How the NFL reacted to Brady’s retirement
(c) Sky Sports 2023: Tom Brady announces retirement from NFL ‘for good’ after 23 seasons and seven Super Bowl triumphs