Earlier this week it was reported that Tom Brady was set to call it quits on his NFL career. While many were quick to dispute the claims, fans of the 44-year-old superstar could only wait with bated breath to hear from Brady himself. That came today in the form of a 960-word statement released on Brady’s Instagram where he detailed his decision to call time on an incredible career, saying he could no longer make the “competitive commitment” to continue.
“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition – if a 100 per cent competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” Brady wrote in his statement. “There is a physical, mental and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximise 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.”
The record seven-time Super Bowl champion went on to add: “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 the 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 per cent of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”
While Brady went on to thank seemingly everyone who had been along for the journey, especially his wife Gisele and kids, many were quick to point out that he didn’t mention the New England Patriots or Bill Belichick at all in the statement, but rather focused his tribute on the Buccaneers. It wasn’t until the Patriots later released a statement on their own social media accounts that Brady chimed in to thank his old team.
Brady leaves the sport as an icon and undisputed GOAT. Of the game. After 22 seasons, he yielded seven Super Bowl victories, five Super Bowl Most Valuable Player awards and three NFL MVP awards. And while sadly Brady was unable to get it done another season to see the Bucs enter another Super Bowl final and potentially win an eighth Super Bowl, he went out after amassing a career-high 5,316 passing yards. He also heads the all-time passing rankings, with 84,520 yards, more than 4,000 yards clear of his nearest rival, the now retired Drew Brees.
To say these achievements are remarkable is an understatement, particularly when Brady entered the NFL to little fanfare, as the 199th pick for the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. A lanky freshman with so much to prove, Brady never once shied away from the hard work and slowly began to prove himself on the field. It didn’t take long for others to take notice and the rest, as they say, is history.