Tom Brady, one of the world’s most decorated professional athletes and widely viewed as the greatest player in NFL history, announced on Wednesday that he would retire. For good this time.
“I’ll get to the point right away,” Brady, who just completed his 23rd season, said in a short video posted on social media. “I’m retiring. Good for you.”
Brady, 45, exits the league as the winner of seven Super Bowls, an NFL record, and atop the list for almost every major passing statistical category. He was the oldest active player in the NFL this season, but still played at an elite level through the end.
Brady had announced on Feb. 1, 2022, that he would retire, but reversed his decision after less than six weeks and returned to play his third season in Tampa Bay. It was his worst as a professional — the team finished with an 8-9 record and lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs to the Dallas Cowboys. But Brady threw for 4,694 passing yards, the third most in the league, while completing 66.8 percent of his passes.
The season occurred in the backdrop of a tense period in his personal life. Brady and the supermodel Gisele Bundchen, his wife of more than 13 years, announced in October that they had divorced.
He is expected to step into a role as a TV broadcaster, after signing a deal in 2022 with Fox Sports that was reportedly worth $375 million over 10 years.
Brady also runs several businesses. He founded the health and wellness company TB12 Sports with his longtime trainer Alex Guerrero. He also has Religion of Sports, which is a media company, and the Brady Brand clothing line.
Brady joined the Buccaneers in 2020, leading Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl victory in his first year with the team. That season came after he had left the New England Patriots, the franchise for which he had played his entire career to that point. Brady spent two decades in New England, where he won six world championships, but did not come to new contract terms and left the team as an unrestricted free agent.
The Patriots drafted Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. He won the starting quarterback job midway through his second season in 2001, replacing the injured Drew Bledsoe, and led New England that season to its first Super Bowl victory. Brady was linked to Coach Bill Belichick throughout his career in New England as the two shaped one of the league’s marquee dynasties. Along with winning six Super Bowls, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most among the NFL’s franchises, the Patriots appeared in nine Super Bowls and 13 AFC championship games.
But his career in New England also faced challenges. The NFL in 2015 suspended Brady for five games after an investigation into whether the team purposely deflated footballs to gain an advantage in the 2015 AFC championship game. Brady served a four-game suspension for being “generally aware” of the scandal known as Deflategate.
After appearing to fumble against the Oakland Raiders in a playoff game that preceded his first Super Bowl win, Brady was also the face of the so-called “tuck rule,” which states that if a quarterback loses possession of the ball while his arm completes an intentional forward motion, the play should be ruled an incomplete pass instead of a fumble.