Tom Brady to retire after 22 seasons in NFL, according to multiple reports

44-year-old QB won 7 Super Bowls with Patriots, Buccaneers
Tom Brady, Shawn Hochuli
Posted at 2:59 PM, Jan 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-29 23:29:04-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is calling it quits.

The 44-year-old seven-time Super Bowl winner has decided to retire after 22 seasons in the NFL, according to multiple reports.

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 seventh-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 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 last weekend's divisional-round playoff loss. 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.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady walks off field after loss to Los Angeles Rams in NFC divisional playoff, Jan. 23, 2022
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady walks off the field after losing to the Los Angeles Rams in an NFL divisional playoff game Sunday, January 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.

After ESPN, citing unidentified sources, first reported Brady's retirement Saturday, the Twitter account for Brady's company, TB12sports, indicated No. 12 was retiring. The post read: "7 Super Bowl Rings. 5 Super Bowl MVPs. 3 League MVP Awards. 22 Incredible Seasons. Thank you for it all, @TomBrady."

The post was later deleted.

However, Brady has yet to officially announce his retirement and Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians told ESPN that Brady hadn't notified the team of his plans.

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski after Super Bowl LV win
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87), left, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrate together after the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9.

Brady's longtime agent, Don Yee, later released a statement indicating an official announcement on Brady's future should be coming soon.

"I understand the advance speculation about Tom's future," Yee said in a statement to the NFL Network. "Without getting into the accuracy or inaccuracy of what's being reported, Tom will be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy. He knows the realities of the football business and planning calendar as well as anybody, so that should be soon."

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.