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Tom Brady set to call time on his playing career after 22 seasons; Brady won seven Super Bowls, more than any one team has; 44-year-old also a three-time NFL MVP, five-time Super Bowl MVP and 15-time Pro Bowler
Last Updated: 29/01/22 9:28pm
Seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady is reportedly retiring from the NFL after 22 seasons.
Brady’s agent Don Yee has refused to confirm or deny Brady is retiring and says the quarterback will make an official announcement soon.
Brady’s management company had posted news of his retirement online before deleting the tweet, while the NFL also confirmed his retirement along with tributes for the 44-year-old.
It would bring an end to an extraordinary career across which Brady won more Super Bowls than any one team has in NFL history, as well as being a three-time NFL MVP, five-time Super Bowl MVP, a 15-time Pro Bowler, two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year and a member of the past two All-Decade teams and the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
Brady, who was selected 199th overall by the Patriots at the 2000 NFL Draft, had previously expressed his desire to play in the NFL at the age of 45, but cast doubt over his future after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Divisional Round playoff defeat to the Los Angeles Rams.
The 44-year-old explained that his decision would be primarily based on what was best for his family, having previously outlined his desire to spend more time with his wife and children.
„It’s not always what I want. It’s what we want as a family,“ he said at the time. „And I’m going to spend a lot of time with them and figure out in the future what’s next.“
He departs widely-considered the greatest to play the sport, having claimed records for all-time completions (7,263), passing yards (84,520), passing touchdowns (624), starts (316), Pro Bowl selections and Super Bowl MVPs while never registering a losing season across his time with the Patriots and Bucs.
Brady is coming off one of the most productive seasons in his NFL career after throwing a league-high 5.316 passing yards alongside 43 touchdowns.
Such was his success in the latter stages of his career, Brady threw more touchdown passes in his 40s (168) than he did during his 20s (147).
„He’s the greatest competitor that ever played American football and the greatest quarterback,“ Baltimore Ravens inside linebackers coach and Sky Sports NFL pundit Rob Ryan told Sky Sports News. „All good things must come to an end and I’m sure he discussed it at length with his family.
„When you see the hits, these guys hit with incredible force, right now it’s a perfect time, he’s got absolutely nothing to prove, he’s won seven Super Bowls, a record that’s never going to be beaten. He’s the greatest to play the sport.“
Six of his seven Super Bowls came in New England alongside iconic head coach Bill Belichick as part of one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history.
Brady took over from Drew Bledsoe as starter in 2001, leading the Patriots to three Super Bowl triumphs before losing twice to the New York Giants at the end of the 2007 and 2011 campaigns.
His fourth ring came after the 2014 season when the Patriots broke Seattle Seahawks hearts after Malcolm Butler’s game-winning interception at the goalline. He added another two years later as the Patriots famously overturned a 28-3 third-quarter deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime, before reaching the big dance again the following season only to be beaten by the Philadelphia Eagles, who were led by backup quarterback.
Brady then collected his sixth ring after the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams to cap the 2018 season.
Having parted with the Patriots after 20 years in 2020, Brady joined the Buccaneers where he would go on to win the Super Bowl in his first season thanks to victory over the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium.
‘We may never see anything like him again’
Sky Sports News’ reporter Jamie Weir:
„It has been incredible. The NFL’s all-time passing yard leader with 85,520 yards. Most career wins with 243, and 624 passing touchdowns.
„He’s won more Super Bowls than any team in the history of the NFL. That says it all.
„It has been an extraordinary 22 years. Picturing the NFL next year without him will be strange.
„People thought he would go on forever and ever. He has been the greatest NFL player of over two decades. What he’s done has been extraordinary, and he’s done it all while being a great ambassador for the sport, too.
„He’s been the ultimate professional, and we’ll probably never see anything like him ever again.“