Buzz and rumors had increased over the past week that suggested the strong possibility of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady hanging up his cleats after being eliminated in the playoffs.
According to Fox News, on Saturday, multiple sports reporters confirmed that Brady is, in fact, retiring, sparking breaking news headlines across all media outlets, and as a result, a deluge of tributes poured in to honor the one and only NFL player to be affectionately known as the “GOAT” (Greatest Of All Time).
Saturday afternoon, ESPN confirmed the quarterback’s retirement plans, though as of this writing, Brady hasn’t yet made an official statement, which is expected before the weekend is over.
— ESPN (@espn) January 29, 2022
What a career
Love him or hate him (there’s no in-between for football fans), it’s easy to see why Brady earned the GOAT title. His records, most of which are historic for the sport, do all the talking.
As Fox reported: “The superstar quarterback will walk away as the all-time leader in passing yards (84,520), touchdown passes (624), completions (7,263) and attempts (11,317) and second in fourth-quarter comebacks with (42) – one behind one of his biggest rivals in Peyton Manning.”
Football fans already know, but Brady has more Super Bowl rings (7) on his own than any other team in the entirety of the NFL. He was also given the Super Bowl MVP nod an astonishing five out of 10 trips to the Big Game.
Adding to his endless list of remarkable accolades, Brady was selected to the Pro Bowl 15 out of his 22 seasons in the league. He also snagged league MVP on three occasions, and enjoyed entrance into the Hall of Fame All-Decade Team for the 2000s and 2010s eras.
Tom Brady’s resume is unmatched: ⁰⁰7x Super Bowl Champion
5x Super Bowl MVP
3x NFL MVP
15x Pro Bowl
5x NFL Passing Touchdowns Leader
4x NFL Passing Yards Leader
2x NFL Offensive Player of the Year
3x First-Team All-Pro⁰⁰What a run pic.twitter.com/FSiYYh3mD0
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 29, 2022
Chance of a lifetime
Brady certainly didn’t join the NFL under impressive circumstances, having been selected as the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft by the New England Patriots. The Michigan ballplayer wasn’t impressive in build, talent, or overall form, but just good enough to make it to the big leagues.
However, in 2001, when legendary Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe was injured, Brady got the chance of a lifetime in what was probably his only chance to prove he could hack it. Not only did he hack it, he led the team to a Super Bowl win that year… and the rest, as they say, is history.
Though he was often criticized late in his career for his age (44), Brady only got better, as the stats will correlate. His last two years with Tampa Bay were two of his best on paper. His absence in the NFL will be sorely missed by millions, and in the spirit of wholesome football trash talk, celebrated by millions more.