It’s now officially official. After much speculation and some premature reporting, Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL today. Considered by many to be the greatest quarterback in NFL history, the 22-year NFL veteran spent his final two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and revived a franchise that had long been in search of a star QB.
Brady won seven Super Bowls throughout his career, the first 20 years of which was spent with the New England Patriots. But like so many other northerners, Brady discovered how much fun he could have in the Florida sun. It was his final Super Bowl title that of course meant the most to those in the Tampa Bay Area, as the 2021 Championship was the first Super Bowl win for the Bucs in nearly two decades.
“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 said in an eight-page announcement on his personal Instagram.
Brady taking time to focus on family, business ventures
At the age of 44, speculation about Brady’s future had begun even before his 2022 season finished. After Tampa Bay was eliminated from the playoffs two weeks ago, the mild chatter turned to constant media coverage. Brady was forced to deflect questions and defer his decision on a seemingly daily basis as he weighed whether or not to return.
The husband and father often expressed regret at the amount of time he spends away from his family due to football, and it seemed that his personal life was likely a much stronger factor than physical health for Brady. Despite his age, Brady remained in excellent shape, setting multiple age-related records for quarterbacks over the last two seasons. But the pull of family, as well as his personal business ventures, proved to be stronger than the desire to make a run at another title.
Beyond the Super Bowl title, one of the central parts of Brady’s legacy that will remain was his part in creating the “Champa Bay” culture that arose with the Bucs alongside the Tampa Bay Lightning, Rays and Rowdies. A region that had been mired in mediocrity and a long search for titles began to believe in itself again and join together in support of its teams.
As for the Bucs, this means GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians will now be back in the market for a starting quarterback. Longtime NFL vet Blaine Gabbert and rookie Kyle Trask, a 2021 draft pick by the Bucs, are the only options currently on the roster. Whether or not one of them ultimately wins the job, the Bucs will still be expected to explore options throughout free agency and the NFL Draft.