Tom Brady, whether he calls it quits soon or not, is unmatched in the history of NFL quarterbacks: seven Super Bowl wins, five Super Bowl MVPs and a host of passing records over 22 seasons.
After ESPN first reported Brady’s retirement on Saturday, citing unidentified sources, Brady called Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht to say he has not made a decision, according to two people who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the conversations.
Ian Clears the Air, Sort of…
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport clears the air a little bit by pointing out Brady does intend to retire, the pushback appears to be based on the timing of and who announced it.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 29, 2022
“My understanding confirming the initial report, is that Tom Brady does plan to retire,” Rapoport stated. “I talked to several people close to him and they believe he has played his last down of football. This sounds to me, taking all of this together, to be an issue of timing more than anything. Brady is very in charge and in control of his brand. He generally has fantastically well-produced announcements.”
“Brady is on vacation and far away from what I can tell. The fact that this got out now has no doubt frustrated him to no end. Again, this is someone who is extremely in charge of his brand, in everything that is produced, everything around him, everything social media puts out. They do a great job. But this is very un-Brady-like. The fact that the Buccaneers have not yet been informed that he is for sure walking away, probably is not a good look. I think Brady handles everything first class. I’m sure that he is steaming that this got out. However, I do believe this is true, that he is, in fact, going to retire.”
Widely considered the greatest quarterback to play the game, Brady won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots in 20 seasons playing for coach Bill Belichick. He joined the Buccaneers in 2020 and led them to the second Super Bowl title in franchise history.
Brady would leave the sport as the career leader in yards passing (84,520) and TDs (624). But will there be more?