NFL legend and seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, 44, officially retires

After 22 seasons, seven Super Bowl titles, and days of denials, Tom Brady is finally retiring from football. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback announced his decision across his social media accounts on Tuesday. 

‘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 thanked his model wife Gisele and his children, saying they are his ‘inspiration’ and ‘greatest achievement.’ 

The 44-year-old signed a one-year, $25 million contract extensions guiding the Bucs to a Super Bowl win last year. That deal included a $20 million signing bonus, $15 million of which would have been paid to him on Friday. So by retiring, Brady likely saved the Bucs $15 million, although they can choose to pay out his full signing bonus. 

Since being drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady has earned more than $292 million in salary over 22 seasons, according to Spotrac. And that does not include earnings from his fitness brand or his many endorsement deals with companies such as Subway and Under Armour, not to mention his recent foray into non-fungible tokens. 

After days of denials, Tom Brady is finally ready to retire from football. The seven-time Super Bowl champion announced his decision on Instagram , Tuesday

He won seven Super Bowl titles over two decades in New England and two seasons in Tampa

He won seven Super Bowl titles over two decades in New England and two seasons in Tampa

Tom Brady announced his retirement on Instagram following weeks of speculation

Tom Brady announced his retirement on Instagram following weeks of speculation 

Brady's wife Gisele and son Jack are pictured at the Buccaneers' season-ending loss to LA

Brady’s wife Gisele and son Jack are pictured at the Buccaneers’ season-ending loss to LA

Brady thanked Gisele and their children, saying they are his 'inspiration' and 'greatest achievement'

Brady thanked Gisele and their children, saying they are his ‘inspiration’ and ‘greatest achievement’

Brady thanked the Buccaneers organization, his teammates, ownership, general manager Jason Licht, coach Bruce Arians, his trainer and business partner Alex Guerrero, agents Don Yee and Steve Dubin and his family in his nine-page post. He didn’t mention the New England Patriots, where he spent his first 20 seasons and won six Super Bowls. Of course, Brady thanked the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick after he left the team to sign with the Buccaneers in March 2020.

‘To the Glazer family, thank you for taking a chance on me and supporting me,’ Brady said of the Bucs´ owners. ‘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.’

Brady said he’s still figuring out how he’ll spend his time but he plans to be involved in his TB12 health and wellness company, Brady clothing line and NFT company.

ESPN first reported Brady’s retirement on Saturday, citing unidentified sources. Brady’s health and wellness company posted a tweet indicating he’s retiring, and reaction came from around the world congratulating Brady on his career. Even the NFL’s Twitter account posted a series of congratulatory messages.

TB12sports quickly deleted its tweet, but ESPN and NFL Network continued reporting that Brady has played his last game.

‘We’re in such an era of information and people want to be in front of the news often, and I totally understand that and understand that’s the environment we’re in,’ Brady said. ‘But I think for me, it’s literally day to day with me. I’m trying to do the best I can every day and evaluate things as they come, and I’m trying to make a great decision for me and my family.’

While playing for Bill Belichick in New England, Brady and the Patriots won six Super Bowls

While playing for Bill Belichick in New England, Brady and the Patriots won six Super Bowls 

Brady said he was disappointed that coverage of his possible retirement overshadowed the NFL’s conference championship games over the weekend.

‘I’ll know when the time’s right,’ he said. ‘When I know, I’ll know and when I don’t know, I don’t know, and I’m not going to race to some conclusion about that.’

Brady walks away as the NFL’s career leader in numerous passing categories and most prolific winner. He’d also be going out at the top of his game.

Brady led the NFL in yards passing (5,316), touchdowns (43), completions (485) and attempts (719), but the Buccaneers lost at home to the NFC champion Rams last Sunday in the divisional round after rallying from a 27-3 deficit to tie it in the final minute.

Brady won six Super Bowls with the Patriots playing for coach Bill Belichick, and got better with age. He led the Buccaneers to their second Super Bowl title last year in his first season in Tampa.