“I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”- Tom Brady

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has officially announced that he is retiring from the NFL after 22 years in the game. According to ESPN, Brady is widely considered one of the best quarterbacks in NFL History. Over his 22 year career, he has won seven Lombardi Trophies, the most championships won by a single player, and five Super Bowl MVPs. In addition to these accomplishments, he has beaten countless NFL records, having set the record for most touchdown passes (624) and the most passing yards (84,250).

Tom Brady was the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft out of Michigan. He was picked by the New England Patriots and spent 20 seasons with the team. He then was the quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which is where he spent his final two years in the sport. 

The quarterback spent his first season with the Patriots on the bench, behind veteran Drew Bledsoe, but in week two of the 2001 season Bledsoe was knocked out of the game with a lung injury. This gave the second-year quarterback a chance to get into the game. He took hold of the opportunity and helped lead New England to the Super Bowl XXXVI title in 2002. According to CBS, the 2001-02 season changed the trajectory of Brady’s career. 

According to the New York Times, Brady and Bill Belichick formed the greatest quarterback-coach partnership in NFL history. The only games Brady missed with the Patriots were because of an injury that came in 2008 after he tore a knee ligament in the season opener. Brady won six championships and 17 division titles with the Patriots in partnership with Belichick. 

Tom Brady joined the Buccaneers after 20 seasons with the New England Patriots in the most significant free agency additions of all time according to the Buccaneers website.  Brady’s move to Tampa  instantly transformed the franchise, and they won their first Super Bowl in 18 years. Brady won his final Super Bowl, Super Bowl LV, and final Super Bowl MVP title against Kansas City. In his second season in Tampa, the Buccaneers won the NFC South and tied for the league's best record in 2021 before losing in the divisional round of playoffs. In Brady’s two seasons, the Buccaneers went 29-10, the most successful stretch in franchise history. In Brady’s final season in the NFL he led in NFL passing yards (5,316) and passing touchdowns (43). 

In a statement on Tuesday, the Glazer family who are the ownership group of the Buccaneers wrote, “His impact on our team and community was immediate and profound. Tom’s remarkable NFL journey has come to an end. Still, we will continue to celebrate his legendary career as the greatest quarterback of all time and are appreciative and grateful for the time he spent as a Buccaneer.”

Patriots' Chairman and CEO Robert Craft issued the following statement: "I have the greatest respect for Tom personally and always will. His humility, coupled with his drive and ambition, truly made him special. I will always feel a close bond to him and will always consider him an extension of my immediate family."

Patriots Nation was upset when Brady first announced his retirement on his Instagram because in his statement there was no mention of his 20-year stint in New England. Patriots fans were finally addressed when a couple of hours later he posted: “Thank you Patriots Nation. I am beyond grateful. Love you all." On Feb. 3, Brady posted a second thank you where he shared a video montage of his career achievements, which included several images from his time with the Patriots. 

It is not clear what Brady’s next steps are and who he is going to thank next but Wes Golberg, a NBA' sports reporter, tweeted that he heard that Tom Brady is planning to sign a one-day contract with the New England Patriots and retire with the franchise that he played with for 20 years. The tweet also mentioned that Brady spoke to Robert Kraft the morning of Feb. 1 and will fly to Massachusetts for a ceremony.