Tom Brady, a legendary quarterback and seven-time Super Bowl champion, announced his “for good” retirement from the NFL after 23 seasons.
Brady, 45, initially announced his retirement on this day last year, but six weeks later, he changed his mind, saying he still had “unfinished business.”
With the New England Patriots, he won six Super Bowls, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one in 2021.
Last month’s 31-14 play-off loss to the Bucs marked the end of Brady’s final season.
What made Brady the GOAT?
He announced his retirement in a moving video that was shared on social media. “I assumed when I got up this morning I’d just push record and let you guys know first because I know the procedure was a pretty big deal last time.
It won’t be drawn out. I used up my one super-emotional retirement essay from last year, which you only get one.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped me, including my family, friends, teammates, and rivals. I could go on and on since there are so many.
“I want to thank you for letting me live my wildest dream. There is nothing I would alter. I adore you all.
Brady led the Patriots to six Super Bowl victories after being taken by them with the 199th selection in the 2000 draft.
He moved to the Bucs in 2020 and assisted them in winning the championship in his first season, earning him a sixth consecutive MVP award for the contest.
Brady, a three-time NFL season MVP, had a difficult year on and off the field after returning to the game in March of last year. He then produced his first career losing record.
Away from sports, Brady and Gisele Bundchen, his wife of 13 years, made their divorce official in October after months of rumors.
In 20 of his 21 seasons as a starter, Brady, hailed as the GOAT (best of all time) of American football, guided his team to the playoffs.
He leads the NFL in all four statistical categories during the regular season (12,050 pass attempts, 7,753 pass completions, 89,214 passing yards, and 649 touchdown passes). He also leads the league in all four statistical categories during the postseason.
Tweet from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Thanks, Tom
For allegedly conspiring to deflate balls during a play-off game in 2015, Brady was given a four-game suspension. However, the penalty was overturned after a US judge determined it had “legal defects,” allowing Brady to play the whole 2015–16 season.
He missed the first four games of the season after it was reinstated at the start of 2016.
Brady was supposed to retire after the 2022–2023 season, at least with the Bucs. He had also been linked to the Miami Dolphins, Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, and Las Vegas Raiders.
Brady signed a 10-year deal worth an estimated $375 million (£300 million) in March of last year to work as Fox Sports’ top NFL pundit once he retired.
A respectful exit for the indisputable GOAT, according to analysis
BBC Sport’s Ben Collins
When it came to Tom Brady’s retirement last year, there were rumors and denials, followed by confirmation and a U-turn 40 days later.
Instead of using a marketing team this time, Brady delivered a straight, honest statement that made his intentions abundantly obvious.
It was a graceful end befitting a player who must now be acknowledged as the best player in NFL history.
There was some conjecture about Brady’s future after Tampa Bay was eliminated from the playoffs, and he was associated with a number of other NFL teams.
The timing of this statement, however, prevents the rumor mill from going into overdrive, sparing potential suitors from trying in vain to sign him and providing them time to pursue alternative targets.
It also takes place before Monday’s start of Super Bowl week’s media frenzy, keeping the focus on this year’s title chances.
Brady is expected to join Fox Sports, which will broadcast Super Bowl 57, thus many people are now speculating as to whether he will be involved in their coverage the following Sunday.