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Ever since the Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s loss at the 2022 NFL Playoffs, football fans around the country have been asking the same question of the team’s veteran quarterback: is Tom Brady retiring?
Brady’s second season with the Bucs came to an abrupt end on January 23, 2022, after the team’s 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The star quarterback was on the verge of victory during the Sunday divisional playoff game, rallying his team from a 27-3 deficit to tie the game in the final minute. But with moments to spare, the Rams ultimately defeated the Bucs with a 30-yard field goal by Matt Gay completed as time expired on the game. With this loss, the Bucs and Brady lost their bid to Super Bowl LVI just one year after Brady led his team to win the championship at Super Bowl LV. And now, fans want to know if Brady is thinking of throwing in the towel for good.
Former Bucs player Keyshawn Johnson thinks that the possibility of retirement makes some sense for Brady, who would start another season at the age of 45 if he chose not to step away. “You’ve won seven (Super Bowls) and you’ve played in 10,” Johnson said on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill & Max Show. “You’ve accomplished every hardware you could think of and imaginable in terms of professional sports.” The former NFL wide receiver also noted that Brady may consider retirement to spend more time with his family. The quarterback is married to model Gisele Bündchen and has three kids: his son Benjamin and daughter Vivien, who he welcomed with Bündchen in 2009 and 2012 respectively, and his eldest son Jack, born in 2007, whom he shares with his ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan.
“There’s also something to be said for family, and time with your family. He has kids. They’re getting older,” Johnson added. “I’m sure his son wants to play football or wants to play quarterback or something along those lines, and duplicate that success or try to duplicate the success that his dad had. Living that dream, you want to be there for that.”
But is that where Brady’s head is at right now? Keep on reading ahead to hear what the quarterback has said himself when it comes to whether or not he’s planning on retiring from the NFL any time soon.
Is Tom Brady retiring?
So, is Tom Brady retiring? Yes. After after 22 seasons and seven championships, Brady has officially announced his retirement. The veteran quarterback shared the news in an Instagram post on February 1, 2022. He shared a photo of himself on the field, along with the following statement:
“I have always believed the sport of football is an “all-in” proposition – if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” Brady’s statement began. “There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.”
He continued, “This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. 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% of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”
The Bucs star went on to share a long list of thank you’s, including to his fans and his family, before reflecting on his legendary career. “My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. When you’re in it every day, you really don’t think about any kind of ending,” he wrote. “As I sit here now, however, I think of all the great players and coaches I was privileged to play with and against the competition was fierce and deep, JUST HOW WE LIKE IT. But the friendships and relationships are just as fierce and deep. I will remember and cherish these memories and re-visit them often. I feel like the luckiest person in the world.”
Brady’s confirmation comes after weeks of speculation and reports claiming that he was planning to retire following the Buccaneer’s last-minute loss to the Rams at the NFL divisional playoff on January 23, 2022. When asked after the game whether he was thinking of retirement, the quarterback was hesitant to share any plans for the future. “Truthfully guys, I’m thinking about this game,” Brady said, per ESPN. “I’m not thinking about anything past five minutes from now.” He went on to note, “I haven’t put a lot of thought into [retirement], so you know, we will just take it day by day and kind of see where we are at.”
Brady—who has one year left on his contract with the Bucs—told reporters that he wasn’t thinking of the divisional playoff game as his last. “I was thinking about winning,” he explained at the time. “That’s kind of my mentality—always to go out there and try to win. Give my teammates the best chance to win.”
Speaking of his team’s loss, Brady admitted that was simply a “reality” that every athlete must deal with at one point in their career—and for Brady, this loss marked just the fourth time he’s ever lost in the divisional round during his 20-plus year career. “Every team is really qualified when you get to the final eight, then the final four, then the final two and it doesn’t feel good to lose any one of those games, and I have lost each of those stages,” he said. “So at the end, there is only one team that is going to be happy. It feels good to move on when you move on, and obviously when you don’t, whether it was last week or this week or next week, the week after, two weeks after that—if you are a loser in that game, it all sucks to lose in the end.”
Prior to announcing his retirement in February 2022, Brady opened up about the subject in the past. During a July 2021 interview with SiriusXM Town Hall, the quarterback hinted that he had plans to play football until he was at least 45 years old—but his family weighed heavily on his mind when it came to this decision. “Things change as you get older, and there’s a lot of different responsibilities I have in my life,” he said at the time. “My kids and my family is certainly very important, and they made a lot of sacrifice over a long period of time to watch me play. So, you know, I owe it to them, too.”
Brady echoed these plans in his official retirement announcement: “To my wife, Gisele, and my children Jack, Benny and, Vivi. You are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement,” he gushed. “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. Te amo amor da minha vida.”