NFC South Reporter
Tom Brady, who rewrote the NFL’s all-time marks for quarterback success with 10 Super Bowl appearances and seven championships, announced his retirement Wednesday morning at age 45.
Brady, who briefly retired last year only to return after 40 days, made it clear this time his decision is final, ending an NFL career that spanned 23 seasons, 20 with New England Patriots and the final three with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I’m retiring. Forever,” Brady said in a short video posted on social media. “Thank you guys so much for supporting me, my family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors. I could go on forever.”
Brady, a sixth-round pick out of Michigan in 2000, took over as the Patriots’ starting quarterback in 2001 and won three Super Bowls in the next four seasons, building an NFL dynasty under coach Bill Belichick. After a decade without a championship, he would lead another streak of three championships in five seasons in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Brady’s career is best appreciated for unprecedented team success, but he leaves as the league’s most prolific passer, finishing with the league’s all-time career marks in nearly every category in passing, including passing yards (89,214) and passing touchdowns (649).
But Brady was best known for stepping up in the postseason: He finished with an unprecedented 35 playoff wins, playing the equivalent of three full seasons of playoff games, totaling 13,400 yards and 88 touchdowns there.
Brady found a second chapter in his career in Tampa, leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl victory in his first season in 2020, then helping the team win back-to-back division titles the last two years, the first in franchise history. . Last season was his first with an 8-9 losing record, a difficult year as he dealt with a divorce from his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
The Bucs will now begin the search for his replacement, with difficult shoes to fill. His contract with Tampa Bay was designed to allow for a strong supporting cast around him, but it also means the team will have $35 million in “dead money” against the salary cap over the next two years, with likely about $11 million by 2023. .
Greg Auman is the NFC South reporter for FOX Sports, covering the Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints. He is in his 10th season covering the Bucs and the NFL full-time, having spent time at the Tampa Bay Times and The Athletic. You can follow him on Twitter at @gregauman.
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