Tom Brady retires at 45, insists it’s ‘forever’ this time

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — This time, Tom Brady says it’s over for good.

The seven-time Super Bowl winner with New England and Tampa Bay announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, exactly one year after first saying his playing days were over, posting a short video with a duration of just under a minute on social networks.

Unlike last winter, however, the most successful quarterback in league history, as well as one of the greatest athletes in team sports.He said his decision was final.

“Good morning guys. I’ll get to the point right away,” Brady says when the message begins. “I’m retiring. For good.

He briefly retired after the 2021 season. but ended up coming back for another year with the Buccaneers. He retires at 45 and owns virtually every significant NFL passing record in an unprecedented 23-year career.

A year ago when he retired, it was in the form of a long instagram post. But about six weeks later, he decided to return for one more race, citing “unfinished business” after an early exit from the playoffs.

The Buccaneers, with whom he won a Super Bowl two seasons ago, reached the playoffs again this season, losing in their first playoff game. And at that point, he raised the question of whether Brady would play again..

Only a couple of weeks later, he has given the answer.

“I know the process was a big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning, I thought I’d hit record and let you guys know first,” Brady says in the video. “I will not be long. You just get a super emotional retirement essay and I used mine last year.

“I really thank you very much, each one of you for supporting me. My family, my friends, teammates, my competitors. I could go on forever. There are too many. Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I would not change anything. I love you all.”

Brady is the NFL career leader in passing yards (89,214) and touchdowns (649). He is the only player to win more than five Super Bowls and has been the game’s MVP five times. He also has marks for regular season wins (251), Super Bowl appearances (10), playoff games and wins (48, 35), as well as playoff yards (13,400) and TDs (88).

“Tom’s legacy is unmatched in the history of this game. All the Super Bowl titles and statistical records speak for themselves, but the impact he had on so many people over the years is what I hold dear the most,” Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said.

“Her imprint on this organization helped get us to the top of the mountain. We will certainly miss him as our quarterback, but I will also miss him as a leader and a friend,” Licht added. “Our entire organization is indebted to him for what he has given us over the past three years. We will never forget the victories or the accolades, and his influence will be felt for years to come.”

Brady announced his retirement a day after attending the premiere of “80 for Brady,” which opens Friday, in Los Angeles. The film tells the story of four lifelong friends, played by Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, and Sally Field, who went to a Super Bowl to see Brady play.

He was asked Tuesday night if he felt a connection working with women (all four stars are between the ages of 76 and 91) who don’t want to retire.

“They are working hard and they love it. Good for them,” Brady told The Associated Press. “You know, that’s what life is all about. You have to, you know, wake up every day with a purpose. And when you find something you love to do, you know, it’s hard to stop. You really enjoy it. And there are many aspects that you enjoy. So they still bring it at this age. It’s really amazing to see them on set and see how much energy they have. And they certainly inspired me and I learned a lot of lessons from this whole experience.”

Famously underrated coming into the NFL – the Patriots selected him 199th overall in the 2000 draft, behind six other quarterbacks, three kickers and one kicker – Brady certainly wasn’t expected to become synonymous with greatness. He played in one game as a rookie, completing one of three passes for six yards.

The following year, everything changed.

Brady took over as the Patriots’ starter, the team beat the St. Louis Rams in the 2001 season-ending Super Bowl, and he and New England coach Bill Belichick were on their way to becoming the greatest coach-QB duo. successful in soccer. history.

More Super Bowl victories came after the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The Patriots returned to the top of football’s mountain for the fourth time in the Brady era a decade later to cap off the 2014 season, the start of three more titles. in a period of five years.

He signed with Tampa Bay in free agency in 2020 and added a seventh Super Bowl ring to his collection in his first season with his new team. The Bucs won 37 games (including the postseason) with Brady at quarterback, the third-most in the league over the past three seasons behind Kansas City (46) and Buffalo (41).

“I think I’ve gone on record dozens of times that there’s no quarterback I’d rather have Tom Brady, and I still feel that way,” Belichick said in 2021, shortly before Brady’s Tampa Bay came to New England and he beat the Patriots in a game dubbed “The Return.” “I was very lucky to have Tom at quarterback, to coach him, and he was as good as any coach could ask for.”

Brady set single-season league records for completions (490) and pass attempts (733) while passing for 4,643 yards, 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions in his final season. The Bucs, however, ranked last in rushing offense and, forced to rely almost exclusively on Brady’s arm, had trouble getting the ball into the end zone.

After scoring 61 touchdowns in 2021, Tampa Bay dropped to 31 last season and averaged just 18.4 points per game, down from 30-plus in Brady’s first two seasons with the Bucs.

Going 8-9, Brady’s only losing season in more than two decades as an NFL starter, the Bucs became the fourth team in league history to earn a postseason berth with a losing record in a year without strikes. The offensive woes continued during a lopsided loss to Dallas in the NFC Wild Card round.

Brady won three NFL MVP Awards, was a three-time First Team All-Pro, and was a 15-time Pro Bowl selection.

Brady and model Gisele Bündchen finalized their divorce last fall, during the Bucs season. It ended a 13-year marriage between two superstars who respectively reached the pinnacles of soccer and fashion.

It was announced last year that when Brady retires from playing, he would join Fox Sports as a television analyst on a 10-year, $375 million deal.


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