It’s official: Tom Brady retires from NFL

‘I feel like the luckiest person in the world’

FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game Jan. 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. While the NFL conference championship games went on without Brady for only the second time in 11 years, the world waits for the greatest quarterback of all-time to make his future plans official. An announcement is expected soon and a person close to Brady on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, told The Associated Press his decision will be based on family priorities, not finances. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio, File) (Mark Lomoglio, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The speculation on Tom Brady, 44, is officially over. Tuesday morning he announced on Instagram that he is retiring after 22 years in the NFL.

The announcement reads in part, “I have loved my NFL career, and now it’s time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”

RELATED: Tom Brady retires after 22 seasons, 7 Super Bowl titles

Read his official announcement by scrolling through the post below:

ESPN first reported Brady’s retirement on Saturday, but others said it wasn’t confirmed unless it comes from Tom Brady himself. Tuesday morning, that announcement happened.

Also on Tuesday, Robert Kraft, CEO of the New England Patriots, posted a statement on Twitter saying working with Tom Brady was a “dream come true”. Tom Brady replied with “Thank you Patriots Nation. I’m beyond grateful. Love you all.”

During a news conference Tuesday in Miami, Gov. Ron DeSantis called Brady “the greatest of all time that’s ever put on a pair of football spikes. I don’t think it’s even close.”

“I just want to say, you know, to have witnessed him play over the last two seasons, when almost no one would be able to play at that age and for him to play at the level that he did. He had one of the best seasons of anybody in recent memory in this past year at age 44,” DeSantis. “Of course brought home a Super Bowl to Tampa Bay, and I can tell you as a kid that grew up a Bucs fan. You know, we were used to losing.”

Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win last season -- his seventh ring.

“You look at like who’s the best team sport athlete of all time. And as a kid growing up, I never thought anyone would surpass Michael Jordan. If anyone has done it, you know, Tom Brady has done it,” DeSantis said. “He deserves an enormous amount of respect and credit for what he’s done over an incredible career, but particularly to be able to bring a couple great seasons to Florida fans.”

DeSantis said if Brady and his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, choose to continue living in Florida, the state would be proud to have them.

“We’d be honored if they continue to stay here. That’d be great,” DeSantis said.

Brady had cited a desire to spend more time with his wife and three children despite still playing at the top of his game.

Brady thanked the Buccaneers organization, his teammates, ownership, general manager Jason Licht, coach Bruce Arians, his trainer Alex Guerrero, agents Don Yee and Steve Dubin and his family in his nine-page post. He didn’t mention the New England Patriots, where he spent his first 20 seasons and won six Super Bowls. Of course, Brady thanked the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick after he left the team to sign with the Buccaneers in March 2020.

Brady led the NFL in yards passing (5,316), touchdowns (43), completions (485) and attempts (719) in 2021, but the Buccaneers lost at home to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round.

Brady leaves the games as the career leader in yards passing (84,520) and TDs (624). He’s the only player to win more than five Super Bowls and was MVP of the game five times.

Widely considered the greatest quarterback to play the game, Brady has won three NFL MVP awards, was a first-team All-Pro three times and was selected to the Pro Bowl 15 times. He is 243-73 in his career in the regular season and 35-12 in the playoffs.

Overlooked by every team coming out of Michigan, Brady was eventually selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. He replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe as the starter in 2001 and led New England to a Super Bowl victory over the heavily favored Rams that season.

Brady went on to lead the Patriots to consecutive Super Bowl titles following the 2003-04 seasons. No team has since repeated as champions.

But New England wouldn’t win another one for a decade, twice losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, including a 17-14 defeat on Feb. 3, 2008, that prevented the Patriots from completing a perfect season.

Brady earned his fourth ring after the 2014 season. Two years later, in the biggest Super Bowl comeback, he led the Patriots out of a 28-3 deficit in the third quarter against Atlanta to win in overtime for No. 5. Brady got his sixth championship when New England beat the Rams following the 2018 season.

He joined the Buccaneers in 2020 amid a pandemic, instantly transforming a franchise that hadn’t won a playoff game in 18 years. His buddy Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement to join him and they helped the Buccaneers become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in its stadium.

Brady reached the playoffs 19 times, won 18 division titles, went 10-4 in conference championships and 7-3 in Super Bowls.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report

About the Author:

Marilyn has been Digital Director since October 2021. She supervises Jacksonville's number one news website and most trusted source for local news.