By: Gus Wilson
On February 1st, 2022, the greatest quarterback in the history of the National Football League (NFL), Tom Brady, announced his retirement. This was announced on Brady’s Instagram (@tombrady) three days after ESPN reporter Adam Schefter tweeted that Brady was retiring. While everyone believed this report due to Schefter’s credibility, Tom Brady Sr. explained that his son has yet to make up his decision and many speculated he could be returning for one final year. This was not the case however, as Brady announced his own retirement.
On his Instagram post, Brady posted nine photos, eight of which were his typed announcement, the other was a photo of him in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey, his current team. He thanked his Buccaneer teammates, the fans in Tampa Bay, the city of Tampa, the Glazer family, Jason Licht, head coach Bruce Arians, all of the Tampa Bay coaching staff and other staff members, Alex Guerrero, Don Yee, Steve Dubin, his parents and other family, and his wife and kids. While everyone he listed was a vital part of his career and deserved thanks from Brady, football fans everywhere were surprised on who he left off. Brady spent 20 years with the New England Patriots organization, as that is who drafted him back in 2000. He did not mention the owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belicheck, anyone in the organization, or the New England area, once in his final statement as an NFL player. This shocked many and may provide truth to old reports of turmoil in the organization between Kraft, Belicheck, and Brady. Brady did finally tweet, “Thank You Patriots Nation. I’m beyond grateful. Love you all.” While fans believe this isn’t enough for a team he spent the majority of his career with, his gratitude is surely larger than the tweet.
In his final season, at the whopping age of 44 years old, Tom Brady led the league in passing yards, passing touchdowns, passing attempts, and passing yards per game. His final game in the NFL saw him come back from being down 27-3 in the NFC Divisional Round against the Los Angeles Rams, where despite his efforts, he was eliminated on a game-winning field goal. As if this wasn’t enough proof to show that Brady aged like fine wine, he threw for more passing touchdowns in his 40’s than in his 20’s. Brady’s stellar resume doesn’t end there. Among all players in the history of the NFL, Brady leads in passing yards, passing touchdowns, wins, winning percentage, total expected points added (EPA), total win probability added (WPA), Pro Bowls, Super Bowl appearances, Super Bowl wins, Super Bowl MVPs, Conference Championship appearances, playoff yards, playoff touchdowns, playoff EPA, and playoff wins. He also has three regular-season MVPs, the 2009 Comeback Player of the Year, and the 2007 and 2010 Offensive Player of the Year award. His seven super bowl titles are more than any other NFL franchise itself and he holds countless other stats that are almost unbelievable.
While Tom Brady played until he was 44 years old, everyone knew he couldn’t play forever. While some fans may rejoice that he can no longer dominate the league, everyone knows his dominance will be missed. The NFL will never see a player like Brady again, being drafted 199th overall in the 2000 draft and becoming the greatest of all time. Enjoy retirement, GOAT.