Tom Brady’s football career was rooted in an arc involving mythology, his ascent from the NFL draft pick in the sixth round to seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and all-around celebrity. bridge. And it ended, after more than two decades of unparalleled brilliance in his sport, in a heap of contradictions.
Brady, who once said he would only retire when his form started to decline, has decided to leave the NFL, aged 44, at the height of his power. He Announced retirement on Instagram on Tuesday, after leading the league, in his 22nd season, in passes (5,316), finishes (485) and touchdown (43) for Tampa Bay Buccaneerswho lost in the NFC knockout round to the Los Angeles Rams.
“I have always believed that the sport of football is an ‘all in’ proposition – without a 100% commitment to being competitive you will not succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game me,” Brady said in his Instagram post.
He added: “It’s been hard for me, but here’s why: I’m not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I’ve loved my NFL career, and now is the time to focus my time and energy on other things that need my attention. ”
Brady’s official statement comes days after ESPN on January 29 reported his passing, beginning a frenzy that was initially revealed by his father, Tom Brady Sr. and his agent, Don Yee, who in a statement said Brady will announce details of his future plans. Brady himself soften the idea of an impending decision on Monday night, saying “Let’s Go!” podcast with Jim Gray that he is still in the decision-making process. “When the time is right, I will be ready to make a decision, one way or another,” he said.
Brady has said for years that he wants to play until the age of 45, a standard for him. He talked about spending more time with his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, and three children, and said he would make the decision with their input.
The hours that passed before Brady confirmed his decision on terms reinforced the frenetic control that had dominated his professional life and career. The same midfielder who claimed himself for throwing passes an inch away from his receiver – who adheres to a strict diet and advocates the virtues of muscular endurance – once violated a city park in Tampa, Fla., because he needed exercise and the park was closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
His perfectionism, coupled with smoldering intensity and his brain’s processor, allowed a player to be picked by the New England Patriots with the 199th overall pick in 2000 – the seventh quarterback to be picked. that year – retired with three of the League’s Most Valuable Player Awards and as an NFL career leader in touchdown passes, yardage passes and wins.
Brady made that mark last season, when he threw the most pitches of his career. Instead of hobbling on calloused knees, with his wrinkled face and irritated shoulders, Brady hopped around the bag and dashed off with the greatest number of yards in a decade, breaking the mold of an aging quarterback. and redefine what is possible for aging athletes.
Only six quarterbacks before Brady, according to Sports Reference’s Stathead database, have even attempted a pass after turning 42. Combined, these quarterbacks – George Blanda, Steve DeBerg, Doug Flutie, Warren Moon, Earl Morrall and Vinny Testaverde – have thrown 37 touchdown passes aged 42 and over. Brady, in his first season with the Buccaneers, in 2020, threw 40.
So many other details of his career sound so fanciful that it sounds fallacious.
In 20 full seasons as a starter, Brady led his team to the Super Bowl 10 times. He started as many Super Bowls (three) in his 40s as he did in his 20s, when he crammed three wins into four seasons. His seven Super Bowl titles are more than any other franchise has won. He has been selected as the MVP of the Super Bowl five times; only one other quarterback, Denver’s John Elway, has even started five Super Bowl games. Only once did Brady miss the playoffs as a starter — in 2002, the season after winning his first Super Bowl, the championship that gave birth to the Patriots dynasty.
Brady’s New England star brooded for years in ideal circumstances after emerging from a fluke event on September 23, 2001. Jets supporter Mo Lewis took down Drew Bledsoe, who was sever a blood vessel in his chest, sending Brady into the game.
Brady formed, with Bill Belichick, the greatest quarterback coach partnership in NFL history, taking advantage of the organization’s stable infrastructure, the league’s boom in short passing ability, and his own endurance – the only game he missed through injury came in 2008, after tearing a knee ligament in the opening game of the season. He reveled in the New England “Do Your Job” ethos, trying to rein in his charismatic personality to emerge as a pocket passer, winning six and 17 championships with Patriots team.
But even his play-off losses were memorable. He was twice defeated in the Super Bowl by the Giants. The first, in February 2008, thwarted New England’s attempt for an undefeated season. The second, in February 2012, infuriated Bündchen, angered by several abandoned passes, then mocked that her husband could not throw and catch at the same time. Then, in a game against Philadelphia six years later, Brady burned the Eagles’ net for 505 yards of passing – one of his many post-season records – but lost, 41-33, after being stripped of just the ball. about two minutes left.
Perhaps his crowning achievement, however, came towards the end of the 2016 season, when he completed a nationwide revenge tour by overcoming a 25-point deficit in the third quarter to stun the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl. He started that season suspended for four matches for his role in a cheating scandal known as Deflategate, an inflation-free football debate intended to give him the edge when throwing the ball rotated into circular arguments – was takes place in federal court, no less — on NFL dynamics and the philosophical underpinnings of the Patriots dynasty.
That championship, like so many other moments, reaffirmed Brady’s unwavering faith in himself. Every team, including New England, overlooked him multiple times during the 2000 draft, and Brady was so distraught that no one had brought him in in the previous rounds that he left his California home. to go for a walk.
A few weeks after the Patriots selected him, the team’s owner, Robert K. Kraft, encountered Brady not far from his office. Brady introduced himself to Kraft, who said he knew he was their sixth-round pick from the University of Michigan.
“That’s right,” answered Brady, in Kraft’s retelling. “And I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.”
And he, perhaps, became the most beloved athlete in the history of Boston sports. But in August 2019, before his 20th year in New England and two days after turning 42, Brady agreed to a new contract that would make him a free agent after the season. His final pass as a Patriot, in a home-round loss to the Tennessee Titans, was blocked and bounced for a touchdown.
Two months later, with the Patriots unwilling to sign Brady to a long-term contract, he fled New England for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a move that turned the NFL upside down. At the time, the Buccaneers had won a lot of playoffs (six) as Brady had the championship, but he had mastered a new attack, adjusted to new teammates and coaches, and dominated the league, all even while the pandemic limits face-to-face contact. He won his seventh titlethrew three touchdown passes during the Kansas City demolition, last February at the Buccaneers home stadium.
Each of Brady’s rings proves something, in their own way. That he deserves to start over Bledsoe. It was his first title not by accident. That he could lead a dynasty. That he didn’t need the ball to deflate to win. That he could refuse the commissioner, Roger Goodell, who met his Deflategate suspension. That the Patriots, by trading the backup Jimmy Garoppolo, made the right decision to keep him. And finally, last year, he didn’t need Belichick to win.
Even winning his most recent two championships, when he had to beat Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes in matches distilled down to basic terms was the all-time best vs. At the moment, Brady has asserted himself and resisted the escalating generational shift in midfield. .
In recent years, Brady has been preparing for the next phase of his life, founding the sports and wellness company TB12 Sports with longtime coach Alex Guerrero and the media company Religion Sports and Brady Brand clothing line. As one usually does when sensing the end is approaching, he also recorded his legacy in two TV series, “Tom vs. Time” and “Man in the Arena”.
But he put off retiring for so long because he loves football and he loves to win and he has excelled for over two decades – in fact for the best – at doing both. That he ended his career with a playoff defeat, in the division round against the Los Angeles Rams, doesn’t seem commensurate with all the glory that came before.
However, look back at the final game throughout from that game: A goal at the 30-yard Rams, the ball was cut from the 12-yard line of Tampa Bay. Goodbye to TB12, from TB 12.
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/02/01/sports/tom-brady-retires Tom Brady Retired: Live Updates