Thursday, March 30 2023

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 retired briefly last year only to come back after 40 days, made it clear this time his decision is final, ending an NFL career that spanned 23 seasons, 20 with the New England Patriots and the final three with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I’m retiring. For good,” Brady said in a short video posted to social media. “I really 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.”

Brady, a sixth-round draft 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 with coach Bill Belichick. After a decade without a championship, he would lead another run 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 passing category, including career 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 worth of playoff games, totaling another 13,400 yards and 88 touchdowns there.

Brady found a second chapter to his career in Tampa, leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl win in his first season in 2020, then helping the team to back-to-back division titles in the last two years, a first in the franchise’s history. This past season was his first with a losing record at 8-9, 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 fashioned to allow for a strong supporting cast around him, but it also means the team will have $35 million in “dead money” counting against the salary cap over the next two years, with likely about $11 million in 2023.

Greg Auman is FOX Sports’ NFC South reporter, 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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