Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady announces retirement

Tom Brady, who won six Super Bowls with the Patriots and one with the Buccaneers, announced his retirement on social media Tuesday.


A former New England Patriots player who settled near the NFL stadium in Foxborough, Mass., has noticed something about his neighborhood.

Everyone is named Brady.

“It’s all over the place,” said Christian Fauria, a retired tight end. “Dogs, cats, girls, boys. There are so many it’s ridiculous. And every person who named their kid after Tom Brady will happily tell you that’s the reason why they named them Brady.”

After a brief retirement rhumba — he’s done, he’s not — future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady officially called it a career Tuesday morning, announcing his decision after 22 seasons, three NFL most valuable player awards and an unmatched seven Super Bowl rings — six with the Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

At age 44, he retires as the league’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. Brady’s 76.9 career winning percentage ranks first in the Super Bowl era among quarterbacks with at least 75 starts. Thirteen times he led his teams to 12 or more victories, a record among quarterbacks. Brady has appeared in an NFL record 10 Super Bowls and 14 conference title games. In 20 seasons as the primary starting quarterback, he directed his teams to 18 division titles. He also set NFL records with 32 player-of-the-week and 11 player-of-the-month honors.


“My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs,” he wrote in a two-part message posted on his Twitter account. “When you’re in it every day, you really don’t think about any kind of ending. As I sit here now, however, I think of all the great players and coaches I was privileged to play with and against — the competition was fierce and deep.”

Appreciations poured in from all angles for a player who rose from a sixth-round draft pick in 2000 — the seventh quarterback chosen in that class — to the widely recognized “Greatest of All Time,” or GOAT.

“Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL,” Roger Goodell, the league’s commissioner, said in a written statement. “An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity, but also the sustained excellence he displayed year after year.”

ESPN reported Saturday that Brady had retired, but that was refuted by the player’s father and agent, and eventually Brady himself, who said he had yet to make up his mind. Brady was vacationing and out of the country at the time, and individuals in his inner circle said he was concerned about competing for attention with the NFL’s conference championship games.

Not only was Brady the picture of fitness and astounding longevity — Buccaneers coaches say the velocity of his throws actually increased in his final seasons — but he overcame a devastating knee injury in 2008 to win four more Super Bowls.

“As he got older, he knew that he had to do certain things to accommodate the aging process,” said Dr. Neal ElAttrache, team physician for the Rams and Dodgers, who has been a medical advisor to Brady since rebuilding the player’s knee in 2008. “So he worked on things that he actually made better than they were when he was younger. He didn’t carry any extra weight where he didn’t need it. He honed his training workouts, everything to exactly the activity he was going to have to do.”

Tom Brady announced his retirement Tuesday at age 44. The quarterback was the embodiment of success and amazement during his 22 seasons in the NFL.

In March 2020, after 20 seasons with the Patriots, Brady signed a two-year deal with Tampa Bay that paid him an average of $30 million per season.

With coach Bruce Arians at the helm, Brady helped direct the franchise to another Lombardi Trophy, becoming at 43 the oldest player to play in — and win — a Super Bowl. The Buccaneers also made history by becoming the first team to win a Super Bowl on its home field.

Tampa Bay made it back to the playoffs this season before losing to the Rams in the divisional round.

It was against the St. Louis Rams that Brady won his first ring, replacing the injured Drew Bledsoe in Week 2 of the regular season then leading the Patriots to an improbable march through the playoffs and a 20-17 victory in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans. That was the first of five times Brady would be named Super Bowl MVP.

“Two things stand out about Tom to me,” said Damon Huard, his former backup in New England. “First was his competitive nature. He was psycho every practice, psycho every workout in the weight room. Whatever it is, the dude is just crazy competitive. And the second thing is, he had a way to connect with everybody on the team.

“Tom has that old-school connection with the guys. You saw it then, and you see it today.”

Nearly a USC Trojan, maybe even a Charger, Tom Brady found his way into the story of L.A. football right up until the week before he retired.

CBS play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz called more than 100 of Brady’s games with the Patriots, as well as his last two Super Bowl titles.

“He was always one of the most gracious people you could ever find behind the scenes,” Nantz said. “Always expressed deep respect for his opponent. Never a time when you didn’t get a sense of his famous maniacal attention to detail when it came to preparation.”

Nantz said he thought Brady could have played for several more years, and yet . . .

“I didn’t enter one of his games the last five years without wondering if it could be his last game,” he said. “You couldn’t help but think that at any time he was one hit away. And how would we handle such a scene. You’re talking about the greatest player of all time and you’re one blindside shot away.

“As much as we marvel at his style and grace, there was always an underlying toughness that truly defined him.”

Where Tom Brady ranks on career regular-season charts

All-Pro selections: 15 (1st, four players in second with 14)

MVP awards: 3 (T2nd, Peyton Manning leads with 5)

Completions: 7,263 (1st, second is Drew Brees with 7,142)

Attempts: 11,317 (1st, second is Brees 10,551)

Passing yards: 84,520 (1st, second is Brees, 80,358)

Passing TDs: 624 (1st, second is Brees, 571)

Passer rating: 97.6 (8th, Patrick Mahomes is first, 105.8)

Passes intercepted: 203 (T29th, Brett Favre is first with 336)

Passing yards per game: 265.8 (8th, Mahomes leads with 301.4)

Fourth quarter comebacks: 42 (2nd, Peyton Manning leads with 43)

Where Tom Brady ranks on career playoffs charts

MVP awards: 3 (T2nd, Peyton Manning leads with 5)

Completions: 1,165 (1st, second is Manning with 649)

Attempts: 1,855 (1st, second is Peyton Manning with 1,027)

Passing yards: 13,049 (1st, second is Manning, 7,339)

Passing TDs: 86 (1st, second are Joe Montana and Aaron Rodgers with 45)

Passer rating: 90.4 (17th, Patrick Mahomes is first, 107.2)

Passes intercepted: 39 (1st, second is Brett Favre with 30)

Passing yards per game: 277.6 (9th, Mahomes leads with 310.6)

Fourth quarter comebacks: 9 (1st, Joe Montana is second with 5)