On Wednesday, after much debate about his next move, Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL “for good.” Of course, Brady “retired” on Feb. 1 last year as well. But that only after a lot of pushback against ESPN reports he was doing so, and he eventually came back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers six weeks later. This time around, the Brady news came from a video he posted to Twitter himself, and it came with a “I’m retiring, for good.”
Truly grateful on this day. Thank you 🙏🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/j2s2sezvSS
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) February 1, 2023
“Good morning, guys, I’ll get to the point right away, I’m retiring, for good. I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning, I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first. I won’t be long-winded: you only get one super emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year. I really want to thank you guys so much, to every single one of you for supporting me, my family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors. I could go on forever, there’s too many. Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love you all.”
ESPN’s Jeff Darlington relayed that Brady informed the Buccaneers he was retiring before posting the video, and that despite all the talk, Brady playing elsewhere this year wasn’t probable:
Tom Brady informed Bucs today at 6 am he’d be retiring. One aspect I’d been mentioning for a bit now: Brady for months implied to many close to him that it was going to be either a return to Tampa or retirement. Tough for many to believe, including those close, but he meant it.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) February 1, 2023
Weirdly, this announcement does come the week that 80 for Brady (about a group of older Patriots’ fans road trip to watch Brady in Super Bowl LI, with Brady himself as a producer and “very natural actor“) launches in theaters. So this adds to the general talk about Brady, but on a very different level.
If this is indeed the end of Brady’s playing career, the 45-year-old quarterback leaves with a vast quantity of NFL records. Those include Super Bowl appearances (10), victories (seven: six with the New England Patriots and one with the Buccaneers), and MVP awards (five), career regular-season passing yards (89,214) and touchdowns (614), and career regular-season wins (251). And many who played against him had plenty to say Wednesday, including Kansas City Chiefs‘ quarterback Patrick Mahomes posting three goat (greatest of all time) emojiis:
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) February 1, 2023
Star defensive end J.J. Watt, who also announced his retirement this offseason, also had a goat emoji to offer, plus a “newly retired” group:
Greatest of All Time.
No question, no debate.
It’s been an honor and a privilege.
PS – The newly retired group meets on the golf course every morning at 10am. Drinks are on the new guy, so bring your wallet. https://t.co/rjPx7bQa6u
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 1, 2023
Former NFL DT and current ESPN analyst Marcus Spears also had a GOAT reference:
Legendary!!!! It was a Pleasure to Watch #Goat https://t.co/ENdyk23PHM
— Marcus Spears (@mspears96) February 1, 2023
Current Green Bay Packers‘ tackle David Bakhtari played at the same high school as Brady, Junípero Serra High School in San Mateo, CA, so he brought that up:
Rest easy king. #SerraPadre https://t.co/iVsiztbn7A
— David Bakhtiari (@DavidBakhtiari) February 1, 2023
Other former NFL players, like Matt Cassel (who played with Brady from 2005-08 with the Patriots), referenced Brady’s previous retirement:
I would post a tribute to Tom but did one last year. No more. Congrats on a great career, buddy! https://t.co/ERf2w9MrRA
— Matt Cassel (@M_Cassel16) February 1, 2023
If this retirement does indeed spell the end for Brady’s playing career, it will be interesting to see what comes next for him, including his potential move to Fox on that $375 million contract.
[Tom Brady on Twitter; photo of Brady on Jan. 1 from Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA Today Sports]