At long last, Tom Brady is riding off into the sunset. After completing his age-45 season, the future Hall of Famer announced Wednesday morning that he was retiring from the NFL — and this time for good!
Last offseason, ESPN insider Adam Schefter jumped the gun by leaking Brady’s intentions to retire. Still, the long-time veteran followed through by announcing it via his Twitter account later in the day. However, the whole thing felt a bit… off.
A few weeks later, Brady pulled a Wolf of Wall Street and said, “I’m not leaving”. Rumors of a potential Dolphins pairing with Sean Payton were all but confirmed, resulting in the Dolphins losing their first-round selection in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Maybe the plan was always to end up in South Beach, but for several reasons, Brady stayed farther north in the Sunshine State. The Buccaneers’ 2022 season was an unmitigated disaster. The roster was devastated by injuries, especially on the offensive line.
An immobile 45-year-old quarterback plus an injury-riddled line is a recipe for failure. Thanks to lackluster play from the rest of the NFC South, Tampa Bay limped its way into the postseason anyway, sporting an 8-9 record.
Brady’s play noticeably declined in year 23, mostly due to the team crumbling around him. Even then, the superstar quarterback no longer looked like his superstar self. Brady missed throws that he used to hit with his eyes closed. He also looked terrified of getting hit, which is something that will limit the success of any quarterback in the NFL.
Tom Brady Sets Course For Retirement
Rather than subjecting himself to another season in Tampa or joining another new franchise at age 45, Brady will hang up the helmet. The Raiders, Niners, Titans, and Jets were all rumored to have interest in the GOAT, but the commitment was too much for someone who gave over half his life to the sport.
As far as the Buccaneers go, they are now squarely in the market for a quarterback this offseason. Perhaps a stopgap like Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo can keep the roster afloat while they search for a long-term option behind center.
Brady leaves the NFL in a much better place than he found it. His seven Super Bowl rings (6 with NE; 1 with TB) rank above every single NFL franchise, with no team having more than six.
Brady is the only quarterback with more than 600 career passing touchdowns, he is nearly 10,000 yards ahead of the next closest, and the former Patriot also leads the NFL in fourth-quarter comebacks, showing how powerful his clutch gene is.
We may never see another resume quite like Tom Brady put together. Patrick Mahomes is well on his way to making it a conversation, but to be as great as Brady was for 23 seasons is nearly impossible to match. You know what they say… every record is made to be broken. Officially on to the new era.