CBS NEWS – BY LI COHEN
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has announced he is retiring from the NFL. The football legend finishes his 22-year career with seven Super Bowl wins, the most of any player in history.
“I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention,” he wrote on Instagram Tuesday, after days of speculation.
Brady spent the majority of his NFL career with the New England Patriots, during which time he went to 14 Pro Bowls and won six Super Bowls. He signed with Tampa Bay in 2020, and helped lead the team to a Super Bowl win in 2021 — the first for the team since 2003.
“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” Brady wrote Tuesday. “There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years.”
“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore,” he wrote.
Brady’s announcement comes less than 24 hours after he said on his radio show “Let’s Go! With Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray” that “sometimes it takes some time to really evaluate how you feel, what you want to do.” On Saturday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington had reported that Brady was planning to retire, and several others had confirmed those plans to CBS Sports.
“I think when the time’s right, I’ll be ready to make a decision one way or another,” Brady said on Monday.
Brady acknowledged the back-and-forth in his announcement on Tuesday, saying he’s “done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions.”
“My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes,” he said. “…My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. When you’re in it every day, you really don’t think about any kind of ending. … I feel like the luckiest person in the world.”
The Buccaneers posted a video tribute to Brady soon after his announcement. The video follows Brady’s 2020 decision to join the team after two decades with the Patriots, through his practices and eventual Super Bowl win with the team.
“Forever a part of Buccaneers history,” the team wrote with the video. “Thank you for everything.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded to Brady’s announcement by saying, “Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL,” and that “it has been a privilege” to see him compete.
“An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year,” Goodell said. “Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments. His record five Super Bowl MVP awards and seven Super Bowl championships set a standard that players will chase for years.”