The rumors were swirling last weekend that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady would call it quits, and now it’s official.
On Tuesday, Brady announced his retirement from the NFL after 22 seasons. He announced his retirement via Instagram.
Brady never acted his age throughout his remarkable career, which was a great thing.
In 2001, and at age 24, Brady led New England to a Super Bowl victory in his first season as the team’s starting quarterback(second season in the league), earning his first of five Super Bowl MVP awards and his first of 15 career Pro Bowl selections.
Just two seasons later, in 2003 and at age 26, Brady guided New England to another championship on the heels of a 14-2 regular season, culminating with his second-career Super Bowl MVP honor. It began a stretch of five-straight seasons in which Brady guided his team to a double-digit win total – a stretch that included back-to-back Super Bowl championships in 2003 and 2004.
He appeared in an unprecedented eight consecutive AFC Conference Championship Games from 2011-18, advancing to the Super Bowl in 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Brady hoisted the Lombardi Trophy three more times in New England at age 37(2014), 39(2016), and 41(2018).
At age 40, Brady became the oldest player to win the league’s MVP award when he did so in 2017, leading the NFL with 4,577 yards passing in addition to his 32 touchdowns.
In his first season in Tampa Bay in 2020, the 43-year-old Brady, who was oldest player to start and win a Super Bowl, led Tampa Bay to a 15-5 overall record, capturing the franchise’s second Super Bowl title and earning Super Bowl MVP honors in the team’s 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. He was oldest player to be name Super Bowl MVP.
Brady’s 40 passing touchdowns in 2020 marked the most by a player in his first season with a team in NFL history, while his 4,633 passing yards ranked as the second-most by a player in his first season with a team, trailing only Peyton Manning’s 4,659 yards in his first season with the Denver Broncos in 2012.
In 2021, at age 44, Brady led the league in passing yards (5,316), passing touchdowns (43), completions (485), and attempts (719), joining Drew Brees (2008) and Peyton Manning (2013) as the only players to have led the league in all four categories in a single season since 1991. His 5,316 passing yards marked a career-high and the third-most in NFL history. Brady’s passing and yardage totals in 2021 each set new single-season franchise records as he guided the Buccaneers to an NFC South division title.
Brady is the NFL’s all-time leader in Super Bowl wins (seven), Super Bowl Most Valuable Player awards (five), Pro Bowl selections (15), regular-season wins (243), playoff wins (35), total wins (278), pass completions (7,263), passing yards (84,520) and passing touchdowns (624).
What a run, and based on his career, it’s safe to say that Brady never acted his age.