Feb. 1 (UPI) — Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady will retire from the NFL this off-season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback announced Wednesday morning on social media.
“Good morning, guys,” Brady said in a video posted to his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. “I’ll get to the point right away. I’m retiring, for good.
“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 [on my phone camera] and let you guys know first.”
Brady, who is widely regarded as the greatest player in NFL history, also announced his retirement last off-season. He then announced in mid-March that he would return for a 23rd season
Brady agreed last off-season to join Fox Sports as an NFL analyst, after his playing career. Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch later confirmed to Axios that reports of a 10-year, $375 million deal between Brady and the network were “directionally right.”
Speculation continued this off-season about Brady’s retirement, with the quarterback saying that he did not know if he planned to play in 2023-24. A league source told UPI on Tuesday that Brady was still unsure about his NFL future.
Brady, 45, led the NFL in pass attempts and completions in each of the last two seasons. He led the NFL in passing yards (5,316) and touchdowns (43) in 2021, en route to his 15th Pro Bowl selection.
He completed 66.8% of his throws for 4,694 yards, 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 17 starts this past season.
The San Mateo, Calif., native attended Junipero Serra High School and went on to play at Michigan from 1996 through 1999. Brady famously entered the league as a sixth-round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. He spent his first 20 seasons with the New England Patriots.
The three-time NFL MVP, five-time Super Bowl MVP, three-time All-Pro, two-time Offensive Player of the Year and 2009 Comeback Player of the Year went on to set records as the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (649), passing yards (89,214), regular-season wins (251), playoff victories (35) and games played (335 regular season, 383 overall).
Brady’s retirement is set to result in a $35 million dead cap hit to the Buccaneers’ salary cap. The NFC South franchise can split that cap hit over the next two seasons, to lessen its burden and increase their ability to sign other players.
Kyle Trask and Blaine Gabbert were the Buccaneers’ backup quarterbacks in 2022-23. Trask, a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, is signed through 2024. Gabbert is set to his free agency this off-season.
“You only get one super emotional retirement essay and I used mine up last year, so I really thank you guys so much, to every single one of you for supporting me, and my family, my friends, teammates, my competitors,” Brady said.
“I could go on forever. There’s too many. Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you all.”