FAREWELL TO THE GOAT.
The GOAT of NFL quarterbacks is leaving the football field.
Brady finishes his career with seven Super Bowl championships, three MVPs and five Super Bowl MVPs. The future Hall of Famer won six of those rings across 20 seasons with the Patriots before winning another last year with the Buccaneers after leaving New England in free agency. More from ESPN.com:
Sources said that Brady’s decision to retire is based on several factors, including family and health. Although it’s less significant, Brady also recognizes that the Buccaneers are likely to undergo significant roster turnover, sources said.
Brady, 44, has been adamant for weeks that he never wanted a “farewell season,” and many who know him believed he desired a decision made without much drama leading up to it. He will shift his focus to new endeavors and believes this is the right moment to end his playing career, sources said.
It is unknown when Brady will formalize his plans to retire, but that move will be made with consideration to not upstage the NFL’s postseason games or Super Bowl. Brady’s company, TB12 Sports, sent a tweet that appeared to confirm his decision but later deleted the post.
Brady’s quest for one more title was cut short last Sunday when the Bucs lost to the Rams in the thrilling NFC divisional round. He led what appeared to be one of his signature game-winning drives in the final few minutes before the Rams shockingly won with a field goal as time expired.
After the loss, Brady gave some hints about what would go into his decision to retire.
“My wife [Gisele Bundchen] is my biggest supporter,” Brady said on his “Let’s Go!” podcast earlier this week. “It pains her to see me get hit out there, and she deserves what she needs from me as a husband and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad.
“I’m gonna spend some time with them and give them what they need, because they’ve really been giving me what I need the last six months — to do what I need to do and I said this a few years ago.
“It’s what relationships are all about. It’s not always about what I want. It’s about what we want as a family. And I’m gonna spend a lot of time with them and figure out in the future what’s next.”
Brady was a sixth-round pick (199th overall) of the Patriots in 2000 and often talked about playing until he was 45 — the age he will turn in August.
Since taking over for the injured Drew Bledsoe in 2001, Brady started 316 games out of a possible 335. He missed all but one game of the 2008 season after tearing his ACL in the opening game and then was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season as a punishment for the Patriots “Deflategate” scandal.