Tom Brady, the most successful quarterback in NFL history, announced on Wednesday that he is retiring from the sport he has dominated for years.
“I am retiring, for good,” Brady said in a 53-second video message that he posted on Twitter. “Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream.”
“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.
“I won’t be long-winded. You only get one super emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year, so really thank you guys so much to every single one of you for supporting me.”
Brady’s ruthless commitment to winning was legendary and it was only in his final season that there were signs his skills had begun to diminish, although even then he passed for 4,694 yards, the third most in the NFL.
The 45-year-old’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a losing record and only limped into the playoffs because the other teams in the NFC South were even worse. They were easily beaten in the first round of the playoffs by the Dallas Cowboys.
Brady’s list of achievements is almost as long as his career. His seven Super Bowl wins – six with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – are the most by any player in NFL history. He also holds the NFL record for career passing touchdowns (649) and passing yards (89,214).
“My family, my friends, my team-mates, my competitors – I could go on forever, there’s too many,” Brady said in Wednesday’s video. “Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you all.”
This is not Brady’s first farewell. He initially announced his retirement exactly a year ago before deciding to return to the Buccaneers 40 days later, citing “unfinished business”. However, Tampa were weakened by injuries and Brady appeared affected by off-field issues as his final season fizzled out.
Brady was famously undervalued coming out of college. There were 198 players – six of them quarterbacks – selected in front of Brady in the 2000 NFL draft before the New England Patriots picked him.
He started as New England’s fourth-string quarterback and slowly worked his way up to become Drew Bledsoe’s backup. When Bledsoe was injured early in the 2001 season, Brady took over barely looked back. He would go on to claim seven Super Bowl titles, three NFL MVP awards and a place among America’s greatest ever athletes. – Guardian