MIAMI — Florida's governor on Tuesday praised "the greatest of all-time" Tom Brady after the NFL star quarterback announced he's retiring after 22 seasons of playing professional football.
"He is the greatest of all-time that's ever put on a pair of football spikes. I don't think it's even close," DeSantis said during a news conference at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami.
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DeSantis, a Florida native and self-proclaimed "long-suffering Bucs fan," said Brady ignited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he joined the team in 2020, carrying them to a Super Bowl victory.
"Tom single-handedly brought the team from a mid-level NFL team to the Super Bowl," DeSantis said. "For him to play at the level that he did, he had one of the best seasons of anybody in recent memory in this past year at age 44."
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Over the course of more than two decades in the NFL, Brady won seven Super Bowls, including six with the New England Patriots. He's a five-time Super Bowl MVP and holds numerous NFL passing records.
"He deserves an enormous amount of respect and credit for what he's done over an incredible career," DeSantis said. "But particularly to be able to bring a couple great seasons to Florida fans, we really appreciate it."
With the retirement news official, DeSantis hopes Brady and his family will remain Sunshine State residents, saying, "I know him and Giselle like Florida."
"We'd be honored if they continue to stay here. That would be great," DeSantis said. "Wish him all the well in the next chapter in his life. He's had a helluva career."