When Is Tom Brady Eligible for The NFL Hall of Fame? Why He’ll Have to Wait 6 Years After Retiring ‘For Good’

Sophie Hanson
Tom Brady
Photo: Getty Images

After earning the title of the GOAT (greatest of all time) and his retirement from the NFL, many fans will be wondering when Tom Brady is eligible for the NFL Hall of Fame as his induction seems guaranteed at this point.

Brady called it quits on February 1, 2023. In a teary announcement posted to Twitter, he said: “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,” Tom filmed his retirement speech on a beach. “It 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, 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.” As a seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, here’s when Tom Brady will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

When Is Tom Brady Eligible for The NFL Hall of Fame?

When is Tom Brady eligible for the NFL Hall of Fame? The superstar quarterback will have to wait until at least 2028 for his induction because he played in the 2022 season—after briefly retiring for 40 days. NFL players have to be inactive for at least five straight seasons, according to the Hall of Fame’s official website. So Brady will have to wait five years after the 2023 season for the Class of 2028 Hall of Fame inductions.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady, 2002. Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

“The committee tasked with nominating Hall of Famers consists of one media representative from each pro football city,” per the website. “Every candidate is carefully scrutinized and must receive at least 80 percent approval of the Committee at the annual meeting before he or she can be elected,” though it doesn’t list exactly what sort of criteria it uses to make its final decision. Brady’s contribution to the game should be a no-brainer, however.

Picked up by the New England Patriots in the 2000 NFL Draft in round six, Brady was selected with an underwhelming scout report. He didn’t exactly have an outstanding career at Michigan, and he ran a slow 5.28 40-yard dash. In a 2017 Instagram post reflecting on his time as a youth athlete, Brady noted scouts observed in him a “Poor build, Skinny, Lacks great physical stature and strength, Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush, Lacks a really strong arm, Can’t drive the ball downfield, Does not throw a really tight spiral, System-type player who can get exposed if forced to ad lib, Gets knocked down easily.”

Nonetheless, Brady would go on to be a bona fide champion. Just two years into his starting career at the Patriots, he’d be the league’s top passing touchdown leader and would lead the New England team to their first Super Bowl victory—defeating the St. Louis Rams by three points. Brady would take the Pats to nine Super Bowls and win six of them. He’s a five-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and three-time Most Valuable Player in the NFL. Brady holds records for most career quarterback wins (251) most passing touchdowns (649) and most career passing yards (89,214).

“Both personally and professionally, I have faced challenges and sought out people who had better professional insights where I could use their experiences to learn from,” he told Forbes in an interview published in 2020 when he was still married to Gisele Bundchen. “In my young career, I doubted myself a lot. When I saw things that weren’t going my way, I thought I was the victim of circumstance. But when I changed, shifted my view and my mind to say ‘I am not a victim, why don’t I empower myself’ I could grow in ways I was struggling. Through working with psychologists and others, I learned you have to face the challenges and look at them as opportunities for growth. It was a lot of work, but it really paid off in my life. My wife uses a great line, ‘The teacher appears when the student is ready.’ You can’t force something to happen in your life. You have to just be open and embrace them when the time is right.”

Tom Brady

Tom Brady. Image: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

He continued: “For me, time has changed a lot. There were times when I was younger and had a lot more free or disposable time that I could focus my time and energy on things that probably weren’t as relevant as the things I am doing today, and now I don’t feel like I have that much free time at all. I have to find the time to rebalance and refocus and make concerted efforts to do that because there are a lot of requests for my time. I am hyper-focused on taking care of my body because in the end, for my sport, my body is my asset, taking care of it is what my profession is, and the better I do that, the better career I’m going to have. It’s hard to balance time.”

Before his retirement, Brady signed the most lucrative deal in sports broadcasting history, joining Fox Sports for $375 million over 10 years to be a lead NFL analyst on-air. “We are pleased to announce that immediately following his playing career, 7-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady will be joining us at @foxsports as our lead analyst,” said Lachlan Murdoch via Fox Sports’ Twitter. “Over the course of this long-term agreement, Tom will not only call our biggest NFL games with Kevin Burkhardt but will also serve as an ambassador for us, particularly with respect to client and promotional initiatives. We are delighted that Tom has committed to joining the Fox team and wish him all the best during this upcoming season.”

“They approached me after the season. And there’s a lot of history that I have with Fox,” Brady told Variety in July 2022 about the deal with Fox Sports. “I spoke with their executives, and I really had to evaluate if that’s what I wanted to commit to. I have a very unique perspective on football and how it should be played, and what good plays look like and what bad plays look like. I feel like I can still have a great impact on the game. I could stay in the game, doing what I love to do, talking about this incredible sport.”

The TB12 Method by Tom Brady

"The TB12 Method" by Tom Brady

Image: Simon & Schuster.

For more about Tom Brady, read his book, The TB12 Method. The New York Times bestseller, which has been described as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers player’s “athlete’s bible,” takes readers through Brady’s revolutionary training, conditioning and wellness system that kept him at the top of the NFL for more than two decades. The book dives into Brady’s TB12 Method, a performance lifestyle brand he co-founded in 2013, that focuses on a more natural, healthier way of exercising, training and living and how to maintain one’s own peak performance while decreasing injury risks.

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