NFL legend Tom Brady announces retirement 'for good'

Tom Brady insists he retiring for good this time. Credit: AP

Legendary quarterback Tom Brady, one of the greatest players in NFL history, is retiring from the game - and this time he says it's "for good."

The 45-year-old announced his retirement a year ago today before turning back for one more season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He won six titles with the New England Patriots before his final, seventh title with the Buccaneers in 2021.

The future Hall of Fame quarterback has now confirmed his unprecedented 23rd NFL season was his last in a video posted on social media.

"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," he said.

"So, I won’t be long-winded, you only get one super emotional retirement essay and I used mine up last year, so 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, there’s too many.

“Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you all.”

Brady spent 20 years with New England Patriots.

A year ago when he retired, it was in the form of a long Instagram post. But about six weeks later, he decided to come back for one more run.

“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore," he wrote as part of a lengthy statement last year.

“I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.

“I’ve done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved.

“My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100 per cent of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”

The Buccaneers - with whom he won a Super Bowl two seasons ago - made the playoffs again this season, losing in the opening game.

And, at the time, it begged the question about whether Brady would play again.

Brady's career from rookie to champion

Few would argue that Brady is not the greatest NFL player of all time – something that looked fanciful when selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, the 199th overall pick.

He played in just one game in his first season, completing only one of three passes, but the next year it all changed.

Brady took over as the Patriots’ starter and beat the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl that capped the 2001 season, and he and New England coach Bill Belichick were well on their way to becoming the most successful coach-quarterback duo in NFL history.

Tom Brady in action during his first start for the New England Patriots in 2001. Credit: AP

More Super Bowl wins came after the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The Patriots returned to football’s mountaintop for a fourth time in Brady’s era a decade later in the 2014 season, the start of three more titles in a span of five years.

In 2016, Brady served a four-game suspension after accusations the Patriots had tampered with match balls during a playoff game in what became known as 'deflategate.'

In 2020, he joined the Buccaneers and won his seventh Super Bowl. He spent his last three years with Tampa Bay, getting them to the playoffs in each of those seasons.

Brady has won three NFL MVP awards, been a first-team All-Pro three times and selected to the Pro Bowl 15 times.

He is also the NFL’s career leader in yards passing (89,214) and touchdowns (649). He’s the only player to win more than five Super Bowls and has been MVP of the game five times.

It was announced last year that when Brady retires from playing, he would join Fox Sports as a television analyst in a ten-year, $375 million (£303 million) deal.

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