Tom Brady officially announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday after 22 seasons and seven Super Bowl championships.
“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 a statement posted to Instagram and Twitter.
ESPN reported Saturday that Brady would retire, but the quarterback denied the report, telling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he hadn’t yet made up his mind about leaving, according to The Associated Press.
Speaking on his “Let’s Go” podcast Monday, Brady suggested he was still considering whether to retire, and expressed disappointment that headlines about his choice dominated during a weekend with two conference championship games.
“You control what you can control. People want to be in front of the news often, and I totally understand that and understand that’s the environment we’re in,” Brady said. “But I think for me, it’s day to day for me, trying to do the best I can every day, and evaluate things as they come and try to make a great decision for me and my family.”
In his statement about his retirement, Brady thanked his Tampa Bay teammates and fans, his agent and his family. He did not mention the New England Patriots, the team he played for during the first 20 seasons of his career.
Brady was recruited to the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft after playing at the University of Michigan. He led the team to his first Super Bowl win in 2002 against the St. Louis Rams.
He went on to become the most successful quarterback in NFL history, winning more championship rings than any other player ever. Along with his seven Super Bowl wins, Brady has been named Super Bowl MVP five times, and leads the league for career touchdown passes, passing yards and quarterback wins.
Brady was one of the youngest quarterbacks to ever nab a Super Bowl win at just 24 years old. In his last season, he became the oldest starting quarterback in NFL history to win a game.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called Brady “an incredible competitor and leader” and thanked him for “his many contributions to our game.”
“Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments,” Goodell said in a statement Tuesday. “His record five Super Bowl MVP awards and seven Super Bowl championships set a standard that players will chase for years.”
Brady signaled that his retirement days “will be a work-in-progress,” but mentioned several companies he’s co-founded and said he wants “to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people’s lives, just as so many have done for me.”