Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL after an unprecedented career in which he won seven Super Bowls and set numerous passing records.
The 44-year-old Brady goes out after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title last season and NFC South championship this season.
ESPN’s initial reports of Brady’s retirement on Saturday were confirmed by a tweet from TB12 Sports, the quarterback’s health and wellness company.
Brady had cited a desire to spend more time with his wife and children despite still playing at the top of his game. He led the NFL in yards passing (5,316), touchdowns (43), completions (485) and attempts (719), but the Buccaneers lost at home to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday in the divisional round.
Brady won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots in 20 seasons playing for coach Bill Belichick. He joined the Buccaneers in 2020 and led them to the second Super Bowl title in franchise history.
Brady leaves the games as the career leader in yards passing (84,520) and TDs (624). He’s the only player to win more than five Super Bowls and was MVP of the game five times.
Widely considered the greatest quarterback to play the game, Brady won three NFL MVP awards, was a first-team All-Pro three times and was selected to the Pro Bowl 15 times. He was 243-73 in his career in the regular season and 35-12 in the playoffs.
Overlooked by every team coming out of Michigan, Brady was eventually selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft with the 199th overall pick. He replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe as the starter in 2001 and led New England to a Super Bowl victory over the heavily favored Rams that season.
Brady went on to lead the Patriots to Super Bowl victories over the Panthers following the 2003 season and Eagles after the 2004 season. No team has since repeated as champions.
But New England wouldn’t win another one for a decade, twice losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, including a 17-14 defeat on 3 February 2008 that prevented the Patriots from completing a perfect season.
Brady earned his fourth ring when the Patriots held off Seattle thanks to Malcolm Butler’s interception at the goal line in the Super Bowl after the 2014 season.
Two years later, in the biggest Super Bowl comeback, he led the Patriots out of a 28-3 deficit in the third quarter against Atlanta to win in overtime.
After losing to the Eagles and backup quarterback Nick Foles the following year, Brady got his sixth championship when New England shut down the Rams following the 2018 season.
He joined the Buccaneers in 2020 amid a pandemic, instilling a winning culture to a franchise that hadn’t won a playoff game in 18 years. With his old friend Rob Gronkowski joining him in Tampa, Brady helped the Buccaneers become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in its stadium. Naturally, Brady won again.
Brady threw more touchdown passes in his 40s (168) than in his 20s (147).