(WPRI) — Tom Brady officially announced Tuesday that his time in the National Football League has come to an end after 22 years.
Brady posted a statement on Twitter saying he has loved his NFL career, but wants to focus his time and energy on other things.
“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore,” Brady wrote. “I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”
News of Brady’s retirement leaked Saturday, but his family and the Buccaneers denied that he had made a final decision. He said Monday night on his SiriusXM podcast he wasn’t ready to finalize his plans.
“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,” Brady wrote Tuesday. “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.”
All eyes were on the 44-year-old’s future following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ playoff loss last month.
The quarterback spent 20 years in New England and his final two seasons with Tampa Bay, winning seven Super Bowls, five Super Bowl MVPs and three League MVP awards.
“My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs,” he said in the statement. (Read Brady’s full statement below.)
Brady went on to thank the Buccaneers organization, coaches, teammates and staff, but did not make any mention of the Patriots organization or their fans.
“To my Bucs teammates the past two years, I love you guys, and I have loved going to battle with you,” he said. “To all the bucs fans, thank you. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived here, but your support and embrace have enriched my life and that of my family. I have been honored to play for such a passionate and fun fan base.”
The Patriots posted a photo on Twitter of Brady in a duck boat with his seven Super Bowl trophies saying, “It was quite the ride. Thank you and congratulations, @TomBrady.”
Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft also released a statement on Twitter thanking Brady.
“Words cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady, nor adequately express the gratitude my family, the New England Patriots and our fans have for Tom for all he did during his career,” Kraft said. “I have the greatest respect for Tom personally and always will. His humility, coupled with his drive and ambition, truly made him special. I will always feel a close bond to him and will always consider him an extension of my immediate family.”
Brady later posted a response to Kraft’s statement, saying “Thank You Patriots Nation. I’m beyond grateful. Love you all.”
In his career, Brady totaled 84,520 yards, 624 touchdowns, and 203 interceptions across 318 games.
He reached the playoffs 19 times, won 18 division titles, went 10-4 in conference championships and 7-3 in Super Bowls.
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League Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying Brady “will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL.”
“An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year,” he said. “Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments. His record five Super Bowl MVP awards and seven Super Bowl championships set a standard that players will chase for years.
“He inspired fans in New England, Tampa and around the world with one of the greatest careers in NFL history,” Goodell continued. “It has been a privilege to watch him compete and have him in the NFL. We thank him for his many contributions to our game and wish Tom and his family all the best in the future.”
Brady said that he is still figuring out how he will spend his time, but plans to be involved in his TB12 health and wellness company and Brady clothing line.
Read Tom Brady’s full statement below:
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. 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.
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 this 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.
To my Bucs teammates the past two years, I love you guys, and I have loved going to battle with you. You have dug so deep to challenge yourself, and it inspired me to wake up every day and give you my best. I am always here for you guys and want to see you continue to push yourselves to be your best. I couldn’t be happier with what we accomplished together.
To all the Bucs fans, thank you. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived here, but your support and embrace have enriched my life and that of my family. I have been honored to play for such a passionate and fun fan base. What a Krewe!!!
To the city of Tampa and the entire Tampa-St. Petersburg region, thank you. It has been wonderful to be a resident of such a fun place to live. I want to be invited to our next boat parade!
To the Glazer family, thank you for taking a chance on me and supporting me. I know I was demanding at times, but you provided everything we needed to win, and your ownership was everything a player could ask for.
To Jason Licht, thank you for your daily support and friendship – I will never forget it. I had never been through free agency, and I had some trepidation about how we could achieve success. Your leadership gave me confidence, and I will always be grateful.
To Bruce Arians, thanks for putting up with me! Your firm leadership and guidance were ideal. There is no way we could have had success without your experience, intuition and wisdom. I am very grateful.
To all the Bucs coaches, my sincere thanks for all the hard work, dedication, and discipline that goes into creating a winning team. I have learned so much from all of you and will value the relationships we have.
To every single Bucs staffer and employee, thank you. Each of you is critically important, and I was greeted with a smile every day. That means so much to me. Your work is made up of long hours and hard tasks, but please know I see each and every one of you. Thank you so much.
To Alex Guerrero, thank you. I could never have made every Sunday without you; it’s that simple. Your dedication to your craft and our friendship and brotherhood are immeasurable. We have an unbreakable bond, and I love you.
To Don Yee and Steve Dubin, thank you. You’ve been with me every step of the way since I left the University of Michigan and before I entered the league. What a journey it’s been, and I couldn’t do it without you.
To my parents and entire family (and extended family of countless friends), I love you and thank you for your never-ending support and love. I could never have imagined the time and energy you have given me for the past 30 years in football. I can never repay you. And just know I love you so much.
And lastly, to my wife, Gisele, and my children, Jack, Benny and Vivi. You are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement. 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.
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. 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.
The future is exciting. I am fortunate to have cofounded incredible companies like @autograph.io @bradybrand @tb12sports that I am excited to continue to help build and grow, but exactly what my days will look like will be a work-in-progress. As I said earlier, I am going to take it day by day. I know for sure I want to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people’s lives, just as so many have done for me.
With much love, appreciation, and gratitude,