“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes,” penned Tom Brady in his official retirement announcement on Feb. 1. He confirmed that after playing professional football for 22 years, he is officially retiring from the game. The news was not unexpected, given an announcement made on January 29 led many to believe it was over. However, Tom did not make it official until several days later.
“I’ve done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions,” Tom said. “And I am so proud of what we have achieved. 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.” Tom played his first 20 seasons of football with the New England Patriots, leading the team to six Super Bowl wins. He then moved onto the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, taking the team to a Super Bowl victory in 2021.
In his lengthy statement, Tom gave a special shoutout to his wife, Gisele Bundchen, and his three children (he and Gisele have a son, Benjamin, and daughter, Vivian, together, and he’s also father to a son, Jack, with ex Bridget Moynahan). “You are my inspiration,” he gushed. “Our family is my greatest achievement. I always came off the field and home to the most loving and supportive wife who has done EVERYTHING for our family to allow me to focus on my career. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family.”
Tom was widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time, and continued to have success on the field way past the expected “prime” age. For years, Tom has been hounded with questions about when he would retire. After the Bucs’ 2021 season came to an end following their Jan. 23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Tom has been dodging questions about his future in the NFL. On Jan. 29, reports surfaced that his retirement announcement was imminent. However, Tom continued to remain coy about his future on Jan. 31.
“I think when the time is right I’ll be ready to make a decision one way or another, just like I said last week,” Tom explained. “Literally it’s day to day with me. I’m just trying to do the best I can every day and evaluate things as they come and trying to make a great decision for me and my family.” Less than 24 hours later, the retirement news was confirmed.