Tom Brady’s Retirement and Legacy

Written by: Justin

Edited by: Jagat

Visual by: Macy

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2021-2022 playoff run came to an early end after being upset by the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round. And with their season over, speculation regarding Tom Brady’s retirement intensified.

In recent offseasons, the 44-year-old quarterback was always faced with the question of retirement due to his extremely old age for the NFL. To put this in perspective, the average age for retirement in the NFL is 27.6, and Brady was 16 years past that mark. But Tom Brady was not your average athlete; he was aging like fine wine and was still at the top of his game at such an old age. In fact, in his last season, he led all quarterbacks in the NFL in passing yards and was widely considered the MVP favorite, which is why some analysts argued that if he retired, it would be preemptive. 

However, on February 1, 2022, all the questions about Brady’s retirement had been answered, as he announced on his Instagram that he would be retiring from the game of football. Tom Brady is regarded as the undisputed greatest American football player of all time, and is even in the greatest athlete of all time conversation. He will no doubtedly be a first ballot hall of famer. So let’s take a step back and go over the 7-time champion’s incredible career. 

Tom Brady’s early football career was not a breeze like many star athletes—he was never seen as “the next superstar” and consequently never given the starting quarterback position in high school or college. He always had to earn his spot on whatever roster he was a part of and always made the most of every opportunity he was given. 

To those who only know Brady for his success, you may be surprised that in the 2000 draft, he was drafted in the 6th round at 199th overall to the New England Patriots. The 6th round is considered pretty late into the NFL draft, with most of the prospects in this range peaking as role players. But just like he did in high school and college, Brady made the most of his opportunity and found his way into the Patriots starting lineup. He blossomed into a great quarterback and created a dynasty in New England. Brady and the Patriots would go on to make the Super Bowl 9 times and become world champions 6 times. 

After playing 20 seasons in New England, Brady decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. The Buccaneers were one of the worst teams in the NFL prior to Brady joining. But once Brady joined, he turned the team around and in his first season with the Bucs, he led them to the Super Bowl and won. The most recent NFL season was Brady’s second year with the team, and after having a terrific regular season, they were unfortunately knocked out of the playoffs by a game winning field goal. 

But this should not be seen as a stain on his career; in fact, Brady’s resume is, and will always be, unmatched. He is a 7 time champion, the most in NFL history; 5 time Super Bowl MVP; 3 time NFL MVP; and 15 time Pro-Bowler. He is also 1st all time in NFL history in passing yards, passing touchdowns and completions. Last but not least, he is a part of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, NFL 2010s All-Decade Team and NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. He has many more accomplishments which can be found on his player profile. 

So what’s next for Tom Brady in retirement?

When asked about his decision to retire and the possibility of returning to the NFL, Brady said “You never say never…I feel very good about my decision. I don’t know how I’ll feel six months from now.” He also said he’ll spend his retirement focusing on spending time with his kids and wife and continuing his company, Brady Brand. 

The Brady era has come to an end but will not be forgotten in NFL history. Whether he returns to the NFL or not, is something only time can tell, but to all the fans, appreciate greatness, because we may never see another “Tom Brady” again.