NFL legend Tom Brady, officially announced his retirement on Feb. 1st, 2022. ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington had claimed Brady was retiring four days prior, but the world was split on whether it was true, despite Schefter’s reputation as an insider. However, Brady finally broke the silence and confirmed his retirement on Instagram.
“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.I’ve done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”
The announcement sent shockwaves. To dedicated fans, Brady had been immortal in the football world, playing 22 seasons and winning a record-breaking seven Super Bowls.
Some would say he’s the greatest player in the history of football. Just ask Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, and Tom Brady for 20 years: “I am privileged to have drafted and coached Tom Brady, the ultimate competitor and winner,” Belichick wrote in an open letter. “Tom’s humble beginning in professional football ultimately ended with him becoming the best player in NFL history.”
Together, Belichick and Brady won six Super Bowls, the most all-time by any franchise, while en route to holding numerous NFL records. Brady also holds an impressive amount of personal records, including the most wins, Super Bowl MVPs, passing yards, and passing touchdowns in the regular season. Notably, he also holds the record for most game-winning drives and fourth-quarter comebacks in postseason history.
Legendary, to say the least.
Longtime rival and Hall of Famer quarterback Peyton Manning also paid respects to Brady, writing in an open statement:
“Congratulations to my friend Tom on an unbelievable football career,’To do it as long as he did, at the highest levels is absolutely incredible. It was an honor and a privilege to compete against him on the field, and I truly appreciate his friendship off the field. I have always admired and respected his competitiveness, his dedication, his discipline, and his commitment to being the best. I wish him the best in his next chapter. Congratulations again, pal!’’
Manning is one name on a long list of legendary quarterbacks Brady has dueled, and often, won against. That list also includes names like Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes.
Despite his glory, Brady has also made entire fanbases hate him over the course of his dominating career. Having a choke hold on the AFC East for the past 17 years, fans in the division have resentment against the quarterback. However, many fans and players alike took to social media to pay their respects to such a legend. The New York Jets’ social media team pulled a funny gag following Brady’s announcement, tweeting “this better be real,” followed by a sincere message: “But seriously, congrats on a first-ballot Hall of Fame career, @TomBrady. We may not miss seeing you on the field, but the entire football world will.”
With his NFL career coming to a close, the question now becomes — what’s next? Hollywood? Broadcasting? This certainly isn’t the end for Brady — heroes don’t just fade into obscurity. The questions many fans will have now is what else will this quarterback shake up in the future.
Brady openly addressed this in his retirement letter:
“The future is exciting. I‘m fortunate to have co-founded incredible companies like @autograph.io, @bradybrand, @tb12sports that I am excited to continue to help build and grow, but exactly what my days will look like will be a work-in-progress. As I said earlier, I am going to take it day by day. I know for sure I want to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people’s lives, just as so many have done for me.”