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Report: Tom Brady Retiring From the NFL

Posted on January 29, 2022 by Dean Hybl

Less than a week after leading a spirited, but ultimately unsuccessful comeback in the NFC Playoffs, multiple sources are reporting that 44-year-old quarterback Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL.

Multiple sources are reporting that Tom Brady is retiring after 22 seasons in the NFL.

If the reports are accurate, it is truly the end of an amazing era in NFL history. Not only has Brady played in more Super Bowls (10) and has more Super Bowl rings than anyone else (7), but he holds the NFL records for most passing attempts, most passing yards, most touchdown passes and most passing yards in NFL history.

However, unlike some of the quarterbacks he overtook for the all-time passing records (Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Dan Marino), Brady’s legacy is truly less about the statistics than it is about his winning history.

In the 20 seasons in which Brady was the full-time starting quarterback, he led his squad to the playoffs 19 times, including the last 18 years in a row. His career playoff record of 35-12 in 47 games represents nearly three full regular seasons worth of postseason performances.

When describing great coaches, they often use the adage that he could take his team and beat your team and then take your team and beat his team. Tom Brady is one of a handful of football players for which you could make the same comment. If Brady was the quarterback of the team, you knew they always had a chance to win.

Few (okay, no one, except maybe him) predicted such lofty greatness when Brady was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 draft with the 199th overall pick.

As a rookie, he played in just one game as Drew Bledsoe was the starting quarterback for the Patriots. When Bledsoe was injured during the second game of the 2001 season, most thought it meant another losing season for the Patriots.

However, Brady led them to a 44-13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts the next week and then two weeks later an overtime win over the San Diego Chargers. By the end of the season, the surprising Patriots were 11-5 and reached the playoffs for the first time since 1998.

In his first-ever playoff game, which ironically was the last game played at old Foxboro Stadium, the young quarterback had his team playing toe-to-toe with the favored Oakland Raiders. A controversial play that would lead the game to forever being known as the “Tuck Rule Game” helped keep the Patriots alive and Brady led them to an overtime victory.

Though Brady was knocked out of the AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he returned to lead the Patriots to a shocking Super Bowl victory over the high-flying St. Louis Rams.

While it was clear that day that Tom Brady was a capable winning quarterback, no one could have known that he would lead his teams to the Super Bowl nine more times over the next two decades and become the first player to win seven Super Bowls.

Throughout his career, Brady elevated his play in the big games. In his 47 career playoff games, Brady tossed 86 touchdown passes with only 39 interceptions. The average margin of defeat in his 12 playoff losses was 7.8 points and he only lost four playoffs games by 10 or more points.

When Brady first said he planned to play until he was around 45 years old, even his greatest supporters had to wonder if he could really play one of the most demanding positions in sports at a high level for that long. Though Brady is retiring a few months before his 45th birthday, most now believe he could really play until he was 50 if he wanted.

His performance after the age of 40 has been comparable to his performance during what would generally be considered his “prime” years of ages 25-33. Brady led his team to three Super Bowl appearances (two wins) after turning 40.

Though his 2021 season fell short of another Super Bowl, it could arguably be considered one of the best in his career. Brady led the NFL in pass completions, passing yards and touchdown passes. He threw 43 touchdown passes while being intercepted only six times. This despite losing many of his top weapons to injuries throughout the season.

If we have seen the last of Tom Brady in an NFL game, it will definitely change the dynamic in the NFL. Between his 13 AFC Championship Game appearances with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was regular practice to pencil Brady’s teams in for a deep playoff run. His retirement will potentially open up the field for other teams and quarterbacks to try and fill the void.

Over the last few years, many have just simply been calling Brady the G.O.A.T. (The Greatest of All-Time). While comparing players across generations can often be a futile exercise, there is no doubt that nobody had more success playing quarterback in the NFL than Tom Brady.

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