Sports

Legendary NFL QB Tom Brady announces retirement in social media posts

Key Points
  • Legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement on Tuesday.
  • Brady won seven Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • The 44-year-old said he would stop playing after 22 seasons.
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Legendary Super Bowl champion Tom Brady announces retirement from NFL

Legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement Tuesday after 22 record-breaking seasons.

The 44-year-old posted a photo and statement to his social media accounts explaining his decision to stop playing football. Brady wrote he felt he could no longer make the commitment required to succeed in the NFL.

"This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore," he said. "I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention."

Brady steps away from the sport after winning seven Super Bowls and setting a bevy of league passing records. The quarterback's unmatched success came with a dose of venom from opposing fans, who may have watched him too often dispatch their favorite team or associated him with allegations of cheating that dogged the New England Patriots during his long tenure with the team.

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers waves to fans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Sept. 9, 2021.
Julio Aguilar | Getty Images

In announcing his retirement, Brady posted a photo of himself playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with whom he spent the last two seasons of his career after 20 seasons with the Patriots. He thanked the Buccaneers organization, the team's head coach, Bruce Arians, and its fans, but not the Patriots or the team's head coach, Bill Belichick. Brady and his Patriots coach won six Super Bowls together.

In a tweet sent hours after his initial statement, Brady mentioned the team that drafted him.

"Thank you Patriots Nation," he wrote. "I'm beyond grateful. Love you all."

Before he posted his announcement Tuesday, Brady for three days had not confirmed an initial ESPN report that he planned to retire.

Brady said he plans to "take it day by day" after a football career that he called "a thrilling ride." He mentioned he would work to grow businesses he co-founded, including training and apparel company TB12 Sports and NFT platform Autograph.io.

Drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady leaves the NFL considered by many the greatest quarterback to play the sport.

Brady appeared in the Super Bowl 10 times, winning seven with two teams. He won five Super Bowl MVP awards, made 15 Pro Bowls and was named Associated Press NFL MVP three times.

Brady finishes his NFL career first all time in passing touchdowns (624), passing yards (84,520) and passes completed (7,263).

The player who many labeled the GOAT, or greatest of all time, was also famous for leading teams to victories in the final moments of games.

Brady led 53 game-winning drives in his career, second only to Peyton Manning's 54. He also has 42 comeback wins, behind only Manning.

Brady mounted one of his most notable comebacks during Super Bowl LI in 2017. The Patriots trailed 28-3 in the third quarter, but Brady engineered a stunning 34-28 win.

He made a last comeback attempt in his final game last month. Brady led the Bucs back from a 27-3 deficit in their divisional playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams. The Bucs eventually tied the game at 27 before the Rams' game-winning field goal in the final second of the fourth quarter.

Both teammates and competitors held Brady in high regard. Former NFL running back LeSean McCoy saw Brady work in scrimmages between the Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, then was a teammate of the quarterback with the Buccaneers during the 2020 season.

In an April interview with CNBC, McCoy called Brady a "drill sergeant."

"And then actually playing with him, I could see it. He's so intense and smart," McCoy said. "I've never played with a quarterback like that."

Brady's success on the field came with its share of controversy.

In 2016, he served a four-game suspension for his role in "Deflategate." The punishment came after the Patriots were accused of deflating game balls against the Andrew Luck-led Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 AFC championship game.

The NFL fined the Patriots $1 million and docked the franchise two draft picks.

Brady reaped a financial windfall during his long career. On the field, Brady earned nearly $300 million, according to Spotrac, a website that tracks sports contracts.

Forbes estimates Brady makes $31 million in annual endorsements. Last June, he aligned with the crypto world with his investment in platform FTX.

While Brady mentioned his business interests in describing his life after football, he said he did not know yet exactly how he would spend his days.

"I know for sure I want to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people's lives, just as so many have done for me," Brady wrote.