Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady told fans Tuesday that he is retiring from football, saying it’s time to focus on other things after an illustrious NFL career spanning 22 seasons.
A lengthy Instagram post by Brady, 44, a seven-time Super Bowl winner, capped nearly 72 hours of speculation since reports first surfaced Saturday afternoon that he would hang him.
Brady wrote of the brutal physical toll and total commitment it takes to play football at the highest level. He only made vague comments about future endeavors.
“It’s hard for me to write this, but here it goes: I’m not going to make that competitive commitment anymore,” Brady, the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown throws, wrote.
“I’ve loved my NFL career, and now is the time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention,” he said.
Brady just completed his second season with the Buccaneers when the defending Super Bowl champions fell to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC semifinals.
Brady rallied the Bucs from a 27-3 deficit to tie late against Matt Gay’s men. field goal in the gun won it for the Rams a week ago on Sunday.
As soon as the game was over, there was speculation about Brady’s future and whether he would return to Tampa Bay for the 2022 season.
And as recently as Monday, it wasn’t clear if Brady was hanging on.
“I think when the time is right, I’ll be ready to make a decision one way or the other,” he said on the Let’s Go! from SiriusXM.
But on Tuesday at 9:35 am ET, Brady made it official.
“I did a lot of thinking this past week and asked myself hard questions,” she wrote. “And I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
The drama of whether he wants to or not has become a running joke throughout the sports world.
The lowly New York Jets, a regular Brady punching bag, jokingly tweeted Tuesday, “this better be real.”
“But seriously, congratulations on a first-ballot Hall of Fame career,” said the Jets, who lost 30 of 37 games to teams led by Brady. “We may not miss seeing them on the pitch, but the whole football world will.”
Brady went out of his way to thank just about everyone in his inner circle, including family, teammates and coaches.
By name, he mentioned Bucs owners, the Glazer family, Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht, Bucs coach Bruce Arians, personal trainer Alex Guerrero, agents Don Yee and Steve Dubin, his wife, Gisele Bündchen, and their children, Jack. , Benny and Vivi.
Brady has been outspoken about his wife’s desire for him to quit football and the emotional pain she suffered with every punch she took.
“Your selflessness has allowed me to reach new heights professionally and I am beyond words of what you mean to me and our family,” she wrote Tuesday.
He added a sentence in Bündchen’s native Portuguese, “Te amo amor da minha vida” or “I love you, love of my life.”
Despite having played two seasons in Tampa and two decades in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Brady did not mention the New England Patriots or coach Bill Belichick in Tuesday’s lengthy statement.
Under Belichick, Brady and the Pats captured Super Bowl titles in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
Patriots president and CEO Robert Kraft thanked Brady for taking a middle franchise to become one of the greats. dynasties in modern sports.
“Words cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady, nor adequately express the gratitude my family, the New England Patriots and our fans have for Tom for all he did during his career,” Kraft said in a statement Tuesday. .
“In a team sport like football, it’s rare to see an individual have such a commanding impact on a team’s success,” he said.
Brady shocked the soccer world in the spring of 2020, when he left New England for Tampa Bay.
“My playing career has been such an exciting journey, far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs,” wrote Brady, a native of San Mateo, Calif., who was a sixth-round draft pick out of the University of Michigan. .
“When you’re in this every day, you don’t really think about any kind of ending. Yet now that I’m sitting here, I think about all the great players and coaches that I had the privilege to play with and the competition was fierce. and deep.”
Before Brady came to Tampa, the Buccaneers had won a Super Bowl title in 44 seasons. The franchise is best known for a 26-game losing streak that he endured shortly after its birth as an expansion franchise.
Brady is leaving the Bucs after bringing them a Lombardi Trophy in just two seasons of play.
“Tom came to Tampa Bay with an unprecedented level of expectation and delivered some of the most memorable moments in our franchise history,” the Glazer family said in a statement.
“His impact on our team and community was immediate and profound. Tom’s remarkable journey in the NFL has come to an end, but we will continue to celebrate his legendary career as the greatest quarterback of all time and we appreciate and appreciate the time he took.” passed like a Buccaneer,” the Glazers said.
Widely considered the best quarterback in NFL history, Brady leaves the sport with more passing yards (84,520) and touchdown throws (624) than any other quarterback in the history of the game.
Beyond the numbers, Brady also leaves behind an unprecedented legacy of victories, not only winning seven Super Bowl rings, but also playing in 10 title games.
Last season was one of the best; he passed for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns, both league highs.
The high level of play prompted Brady to speak openly about the possibility of playing into his 50s in what was both an amazing and realistic goal.
The next oldest players to dress in the NFL last season were 39 and 40 years old. The group included recently retired Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, two offensive linemen and two punters.
The Super Bowl, which will be televised on NBC on February 13, will feature the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, led by head coaches considerably younger than Brady: Sean McVay, 36, and Zac Taylor, 38. .
Brady’s longevity has been a wonder for years, and he has tried to capitalize on it with books on health, diet and exercise.
Getting plenty of sleep, not eating late at night, and exercising early in the morning are among the most basic elements of his regimen. But he has also taken an unconventional stance against nightshade vegetables, such as potatoes, bell peppers, eggplants and tomatoes.
Brady has been an outspoken critic of the food industry, calling out beloved American brands Coca-Cola and Frosted Flakes in 2015.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism