Tom Brady officially announces retirement from NFL after 22 seasons

After a weekend full of leaked reports and speculation, it is now official: Tom Brady is retiring.

Brady, 44, took to Instagram to officially announce his retirement:

“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,” Brady wrote. “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.

“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.”

Brady also has a send-off in the NFL unlike many older players do — he was still at the top statistically. There was no drop-off. Brady was 485-of-719 passing for 5,319 yards and 43 touchdowns in 2021. He led the NFL in completions, attempts, yards and TDs this season. And it’s going to most likely be between him and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the NFL MVP Award. If Brady wins the MVP award, he’ll finish his career as a four-time NFL MVP. Brady is currently tied for second all-time with Rodgers, Jim Brown and Johnny Unitas at three. Only Hall of Famer Peyton Manning (5) has more MVPs.

Brady is also the bridge of multiple generations of NFL players. With his retirement, the upcoming 2022-23 NFL season will be the first season since 1997 not to have either Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, or Ben Rothlisberger.

“Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement released Tuesday. “An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year.

“Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments. … He inspired fans in New England, Tampa and around the world with one of the greatest careers in NFL history. It has been a privilege to watch him compete and have him in the NFL. We thank him for his many contributions to our game and wish Tom and his family all the best in the future.”

After 20 historic seasons with New England that had already cemented his legacy, Brady joined the Buccaneers in 2020 and immediately added another chapter to his story with a seventh Super Bowl title — the first won by a team in its own stadium.

“Tom joined us as the greatest football player of all time, and he quickly showed everyone in our organization what that meant,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday. “He set a standard and helped create a culture that took our team to the mountaintop.

“It has been an honor to be his head coach for the past two seasons. I wish it didn’t have to end, but few players have the opportunity to leave the game on their own terms. Even fewer can do it while playing at an elite level. Tom is the exception. I have a deep appreciation and respect for what he has done for our franchise, and I wish him and his family nothing but the best in this next chapter of life after football.”

Drafted 199th overall in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady became the starter in 2001 following an injury to starter Drew Bledsoe. And the rest was history. He piled up career records such as most touchdown passes (624) and most passing yards (84,250), seven Super Bowl victories, and TEN Super Bowl appearances.

Thank you, Tom. For a career unlike any other.

Below is his FULL statement in regards to his retirement:

“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. 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.

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 this 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.

To my Bucs teammates the past two years, I love you guys, and I have loved going to battle with you. You have dug so deep to challenge yourself, and it inspired me to wake up every day and give you my best. I am always here for you guys and want to see you continue to push yourselves to be your best. I couldn’t be happier with what we accomplished together.

To all the Bucs fans, thank you. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived here, but your support and embrace have enriched my life and that of my family. I have been honored to play for such a passionate and fun fan base. What a Krewe!!!

To the city of Tampa and the entire Tampa-St. Petersburg region, thank you. It has been wonderful to be a resident of such a fun place to live. I want to be invited to our next boat parade!

To the Glazer family, thank you for taking a chance on me and supporting me. I know I was demanding at times, but you provided everything we needed to win, and your ownership was everything a player could ask for.

To Jason Licht, thank you for your daily support and friendship – I will never forget it. I had never been through free agency, and I had some trepidation about how we could achieve success. Your leadership gave me confidence, and I will always be grateful.

To Bruce Arians, thanks for putting up with me! Your firm leadership and guidance were ideal. There is no way we could have had success without your experience, intuition and wisdom. I am very grateful.

To all the Bucs coaches, my sincere thanks for all the hard work, dedication, and discipline that goes into creating a winning team. I have learned so much from all of you and will value the relationships we have.

To every single Bucs staffer and employee, thank you. Each of you is critically important, and I was greeted with a smile every day. That means so much to me. Your work is made up of long hours and hard tasks, but please know I see each and every one of you. Thank you so much.

To Alex Guerrero, thank you. I could never have made every Sunday without you; it’s that simple. Your dedication to your craft and our friendship and brotherhood are immeasurable. We have an unbreakable bond, and I love you.

To Don Yee and Steve Dubin, thank you. You’ve been with me every step of the way since I left the University of Michigan and before I entered the league. What a journey it’s been, and I couldn’t do it without you.

To my parents and entire family (and extended family of countless friends), I love you and thank you for your never-ending support and love. I could never have imagined the time and energy you have given me for the past 30 years in football. I can never repay you. And just know I love you so much.

And lastly, to my wife, Gisele, and my children, Jack, Benny and Vivi. You are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement. I always came off the field and home to the most loving and supportive wife who has done EVERYTHING for our family to allow me to focus on my career. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally, and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family. Te amo amor da minha vida.

My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. When you’re in it every day, you really don’t think about any kind of ending. As I sit here now, however, I think of all the great players and coaches I was privileged to play with and against – the competition was fierce and deep, JUST HOW WE LIKE IT. But the friendships and relationships are just as fierce and deep. I will remember and cherish these memories and re-visit them often. I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

The future is exciting. I am fortunate to have cofounded incredible companies like @autograph.io @bradybrand @tb12sports that I am excited to continue to help build and grow, but exactly what my days will look like will be a work-in-progress. As I said earlier, I am going to take it day by day. 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.

With much love, appreciation, and gratitude,

Tom


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