Tom Brady officially announces retirement after 22 seasons

44-year-old QB won 7 Super Bowls with Patriots, Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady walks off field after loss to Los Angeles Rams in NFC divisional playoff, Jan. 23, 2022
Posted at 9:50 AM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 15:57:13-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is officially saying goodbye to the NFL.

The 44-year-old seven-time Super Bowl winner announced his retirement on social media Tuesday after 22 seasons in the NFL, two days after reports surfaced that he was calling it quits.

"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."

Brady spent his first 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, winning six Super Bowls under longtime head coach Bill Belichick.

Widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all-time, Brady helped build a dynasty in New England, leading the Patriots to 17 AFC East Division titles, 13 conference championship games, nine Super Bowl appearances and six Super Bowl victories — all of which are NFL records for a player and franchise — between 2001, when he supplanted former No. 1 overall pick Drew Bledsoe as starting quarterback, and 2019.

Brady came to New England as a sixth-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2000 and became the starter in his second season after an injury to Bledsoe. The Patriots went on to win their first of three Super Bowls in four years, quickly emerging as the team to beat in the NFL.

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady in Super Bowl XXXVI vs. St. Louis Rams
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws as St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Jeff Zgonina (90) and safety Adam Archuleta (31) defend during the third quarter of Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002, in New Orleans.

After a two-year absence, Brady and the Patriots returned to the Super Bowl to cap the 2007 season in historic fashion, becoming the only team to complete a 16-game regular season undefeated. But the New York Giants defeated the Pats in a 17-14 upset, spoiling what would have been the NFL's first perfect season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Four years later, Brady and the Pats were back in the Super Bowl — once again facing the Giants. Like before, the Giants got the better of New England, winning 21-17 and handing the Pats their second Super Bowl loss of the Brady era.

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Brady and the Pats got back to their winning ways after another two-year Super Bowl absence, playing in four of five Super Bowls during Brady's final five seasons in New England. The Pats won three Super Bowls in that span, their lone loss to the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2017 season.

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady meets with owner Robert Kraft amid swarm of media after Super Bowl LIII victory
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady embraces owner Robert Kraft after Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta.

The five-time Super Bowl MVP has played in 10 of the last 20 Super Bowls and owns several of the NFL's career quarterback records, including passing yards (84,520), completions (7,263), touchdown passes (624) and games started (363).

Brady's final game in a Patriots uniform was a 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans at home in a wild-card playoff game during the 2019 season.

Tom Brady, Jan. 4, 2020
In this Jan. 4, 2020, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gestures to a teammate before an NFL wild-card playoff game against the Tennessee Titans in Foxborough, Mass.

After 20 seasons in frigid New England, Brady opted to leave for the sunshine of Tampa Bay later that year and made an immediate impact, leading the Buccaneers to their second Super Bowl in franchise history. In doing so, the Bucs became the first team to win a Super Bowl at their home stadium.

The Bucs won't have the opportunity to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since Brady and the Patriots did it after falling to the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs last month. But Brady nearly rallied his team to victory, helping the Bucs overcome a 27-3 second-half deficit before Rams kicker Matt Gay booted a 30-yard field goal as time expired to win 30-27.

"Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL," Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year. 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. 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."

Tom Brady with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after Super Bowl LI
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady pose during a news conference after Super Bowl LI, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, in Houston.

In his post, Brady praised all his teammates and coaches through the years, calling the competition "fierce and deep."

"But the friendships and relationships are just as fierce and deep," he wrote. "I will remember and cherish these memories and re-visit them often. I feel like the luckiest person in the world."

Even though Brady is hanging up his cleats for good, he won't be giving up his newfound "Florida man" status. Brady and his family have been building a home in South Florida.