Tom Brady Officially Announces Retirement From the NFL After 22 Years

After more than two decades, Tom Brady is officially saying goodbye to his professional football career.

Tom Brady is officially hanging up his football jersey. 

After 22 years playing in the National Football League, the athlete -- widely considered the greatest quarterback of all time -- has confirmed his retirement. Following recent reports and widespread speculation, Brady announced the news in an Instagram statement on Tuesday morning. 

"I have always believed the sport of football is an 'all-in' proposition - if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game. There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life," he wrote. "This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention."

The 44-year-old father of three continued, "I’ve done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes."

Throughout his lengthy statement, the football star expressed his gratitude to his teammates, coaches, fans, family, friends, his children and longtime wife Gisele Bündchen.

"To my wife, Gisele, and my children Jack, Benny and Vivi," he wrote. "You are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement. I always came off the field and home to the most loving and supportive wife who has done EVERYTHING for our family to allow me to focus on my career. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally, and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family. Te amo amor da minha vida."

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Reflecting on all his years on the field, Brady, who played for the New England Patriots for 20 years before joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, said, "My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. When you're in it every day, you really don’t think about any kind of ending. As I sit here now, however, I think of all the great players and coaches I was privileged to play with and against - the competition was fierce and deep, JUST HOW WE LIKE IT. But the friendships and relationships are just as fierce and deep. I will remember and cherish these memories and re-visit them often. I feel like the luckiest person in the world."

After seven Super Bowl wins and a record-setting career, how does the future seem for Brady? "Exciting."

"I’m fortunate to have cofounded incredible companies like @bradybrand @tb12sports that I am excited to continue to help build and grow, but exactly what my days will look like will be a work-in-progress," he explained. "As I said earlier, I am going to take it day by day. I know for sure I want to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people’s lives, just as so many have done for me."

In addition to thanking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on his Instagram Story, he re-shared a statement from Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, and acknowledged the team with which he spent a majority of his career. "Thank you @patriots and Patriot Nation Beyond Grateful and Love You All," Brady wrote. "I couldn't have dreamed of a better ride."

In a statement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell praised Brady and his illustrious career. 

"Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL," Goodell said. "An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year. Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments. His record five Super Bowl MVP awards and seven Super Bowl championships set a standard that players will chase for years. He inspired fans in New England, Tampa and around the world with one of the greatest careers in NFL history.  It has been a privilege to watch him compete and have him in the NFL.  We thank him for his many contributions to our game and wish Tom and his family all the best in the future."