Tom Brady, the winner of seven Super Bowl titles and three MVP awards, has officially called it a career. After a weekend of speculation over his future, he announced his retirement on social media Tuesday morning.
“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.”
The official announcement comes three days after ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington first reported the move. The reports drew pushback, but ESPN publicly backed its insiders’ reporting.
Later in the day, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that the pushback on ESPN’s reporting was about timing, rather than the validity of the report.
Brady, 44, steps away after what many argue is the greatest career in NFL history. He tallied five Super Bowl MVP trophies along with six All-Pro selections, and 15 Pro Bowl nods. In 2009, he won Comeback Player of the Year, returning from a torn ACL the year before.
Brady was the recipient of Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year award twice during his career, first in 2005, and then again in 2021 after leading Tampa Bay to the Super Bowl.
He leaves at the top of his game, with 5,316 yards and 43 touchdown passes for the Bucs in 2021. He is one of the favorites to win the league MVP award, along with another potential retiree in Aaron Rodgers.
Brady finishes his career with numerous NFL records, including completions (7,263), touchdowns (624), passing yards (84,520), and quarterback wins (243). In 2021, he set a league record with 485 completions in a single-season.
With his retirement this year, Tom Brady will be Hall of Fame eligible beginning in 2027.