After 22 seasons of playing in the NFL, Tom Brady officially retired on Feb. 1.
After a week full of rumors after NFL reporter Adam Schefter reported that Brady would retire. Brady made it official and followed that up with:
“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment (to football) 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 went on to also thank his Buccaneer teammates and the whole Buccaneers organization, the city of Tampa, his wife: Giselle, and the rest of his family. Interestingly, Brady didn’t mention anything about the New England Patriots, the team who drafted him way back in 2000.
The San Mateo-born quarterback retires from the league with a ridiculous amount of accolades and achievements. However, Brady’s career did gain him some enemies, specifically, from teams he dominated during his career.
“Screw Tom Brady,” Indianapolis Colts fan Tanner Cummings said to me when I asked him his opinion on Tom Brady.
It’s worth noting that Brady’s Patriots were often the team that eliminated the Colts from the playoffs during the 2000s, including five separate times that the Patriots eliminated the Colts to move on and win the Super Bowl.
However, even those who aren’t huge football fans are still amazed at what the 44-year-old QB has done in his lengthy career.
“It’s impressive what he’s done,” Sandy Lopez, a friend of mine, told me. Lopez, not a big fan of football, still knows the legacy the QB has made in the NFL.
Brady won seven Super Bowl titles in total. Six of those championships were with the New England Patriots, with whom he played 20 seasons for.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft put out a statement the day after Brady announced his retirement.
“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. … You didn’t have to be a Patriots fan to respect and appreciate his competitiveness, determination, and will to win that fueled his success. As a fan of football, it was a privilege to watch. As a Patriots fan, it was a dream come true.”
Kraft also thanked Brady, adding that he considered Brady a part of his immediate family.
Brady replied, “Thank you, Patriots nation. I’m beyond grateful. Love you all.”
Many believe that Brady didn’t mention the Patriots due to the apparent ongoing cold war with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Belichick put out a statement congratulating Brady on his retirement as well.
“I am privileged to have drafted and coached Tom Brady, the ultimate competitor and winner. Tom’s humble beginning in professional football ultimately ended with him becoming the best player in NFL history,” Belichick stated.
Belichick continued to say that Brady was always on the top of his game, was always a professional, and ended his statement thanking Brady for his impact on the Patriots organization and himself.
Brady put out a video on his social media two days after his retirement announcement that included highlights throughout his career, most of them with the Patriots.
Brady left the Patriots in 2020 during free agency to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he won his final championship.
The Glazer Family, who are the Buccaneers owners, said in a statement Tuesday morning:
“Tom arrived in Tampa Bay with an unprecedented level of expectations and delivered some of the most memorable moments in our franchise history. His impact on our team and community was immediate and profound … Saying goodbye to a legend is never easy, but we wish him continued success in retirement.”
Brady was born in San Mateo, California, in 1977. As a Bay Area resident, he often went to San Francisco 49ers games. He looked up to Niners QB Joe Montana, whom he called his idol. Brady attended Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, where he played football, basketball, and baseball. Brady was excellent at all those sports and was even drafted by the Montreal Expos in the MLB. Brady, however, committed to football and the University of Michigan. Brady’s parents still live in San Mateo, and Junipero Serra High School later renamed their football stadium after Brady.
Brady’s path to the NFL couldn’t have been any more challenging. Coming into the University of Michigan’s training camp, he was seventh on the depth chart. He saw a sports psychologist for anxiety and even debated going back to the Bay Area to play for the University of Berkeley’s football team. He slowly rose to be the starting QB. After graduating from the university, Brady went into the draft with an unimpressive NFL training combine. He was selected 199th overall in the draft and was the seventh QB taken. Brady began his NFL career as the fourth-string QB on the Patriots, and within a season, he worked his way to be the organization’s top QB, later winning his first championship in his second season.
Brady only missed the playoffs once in his 22 seasons of playing as a starting QB and never had a losing record as the starter. He has won the most championships as a player. More than any other player and has won more championships than any NFL franchise. The former Patriot and Buccaneer is a five-time Super Bowl MVP winner. He’s started 363 games which is the most of any QB in history. Brady and his teams that he quarterbacked made the Super Bowl ten times. The future hall of famer is the oldest player to win the Super Bowl, and has 35 playoff wins. Brady owns most of the NFL’s QB records, having 97,569 total passing yards in his whole career.
Brady says now he’s planning on spending more time with his family. However, a return to the NFL isn’t completely out of the question as he leaves the NFL with this quote.
“You know, I’m just gonna take things as they come,” Brady said. “I think that’s the best way to put it, and I don’t think anything, you know, you never say never.”