By Brett Williams
This story is still developing
Tom Brady, considered by many to be the greatest football player of all time, was widely reported to be calling it a career and retiring.
ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter was the first to break the news on Twitter before other outlets reported on his claims.
After the story was widely disseminated across the internet, with nearly every sports-adjacent outlet citing Schefter’s news and sharing tributes to the NFL’s GOAT, Brady’s team has reportedly denied the claim. The player’s agent, Don Yee, told NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero in a statement that “Tom will be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback led the NFL in nearly every major passing category in the 2021 season at age 44, in his 22nd year in the league. Brady and the Buccaneers were prevented from defending their Super Bowl title this year when they were eliminated by the Los Angeles Rams on a dramatic last-minute field goal after Brady had led a comeback effort late in the game, just as he had so many times before in his career.
Brady played his first 20 seasons for the New England Patriots, winning six Super Bowl titles under coach Bill Belichick. (Men’s Health caught up with the quarterback ahead of his last season with the Patriots in 2019 for an extensive cover interview.)
While Brady hasn’t officially announced his retirement, the Twitter account for his TB12 wellness company shared a post that seemed to confirm the news. The post was deleted shortly after it was shared, however, causing some speculation about Brady’s next steps. The quarterback has not shared his plans for next season with his coach Bruce Arians or the Buccaneers, according to multiple reports. After the initial news broke, other sources claim that Brady is undecided about his NFL future.
Regardless of the veracity of the rumors, former teammates like Julian Edelman and Mike Evans, competitors like Patrick Mahomes, and others associated with the all-time great QB also paid their respects on social media. Notably, Edelman later posted a followup response after Brady’s camp denied the reports: “Can’t a guy thank another guy for the memories without everyone thinking he’s retiring!?”