And while that initial report faced pushback — first from Tom Brady Sr. and then from Brady's agent, Don Yee — the future Hall of Fame quarterback brought speculation to an end with an Instagram post Tuesday morning.
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In a heartfelt post, Brady told fans, “My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. When you're in it every day you really don't think about it ending. As I sit here now, however, I think of all the great players and coaches I was privileged to play with and against — the competition was fierce and deep, JUST HOW WE LIKE IT. But the friendships and relationships are just as fierce and deep. I will remember and cherish these memories and re-visit them often. I feel like the luckiest person in the world.”
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Brady is the NFL’s career passing and passing touchdown leader. He’s a three-time NFL MVP, five-time Super Bowl MVP, six-time All-Pro and 15-time Pro Bowl selection.
Drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft out of Michigan, Brady went on to play 20 seasons with the New England Patriots before leaving for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent in 2020. He won six Super Bowls in New England and one more last season with the Buccaneers.
Brady, 44, long said he could play past the age of 45, so his retirement comes as a bit of a surprise.
Since the beginning of the PFF era, his 63.59 wins above replacement leads all other NFL players.
Brady, widely regarded as the greatest player in NFL history, is still leaving at the top of his game. He finished the 2021 season as PFF’s second-highest graded quarterback with a 91.7 mark.