End of an Era: Tom Brady Retiring From NFL
Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL after 22 seasons in the league, announced by ESPN's Adam Schefter Saturday afternoon, and confirmed by Brady's Instagram account on Tuesday morning.
Brady played at Michigan from 1995-1999, starting his last two seasons, and beat Alabama in the 2000 Orange Bowl in his final college game. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round, No.199 overall in the 2000 NFL Draft. During the 2001 season, Patriots starting QB Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury, forcing Brady to become the starter, and would lead New England to its first Super Bowl victory. The rest is history.
The Brady/Belichick duo would go on to make a legacy unlike anything seen before: 17 AFC East titles, nine AFC championships, 17 playoff appearances, nine Super Bowl appearances, and six Super Bowl victories- including the greatest comeback in NFL history, erasing a 25-point deficit in Super Bowl LI to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime.
In March of 2020, Brady announced he signed with another organization in free agency, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During his two seasons with the Bucs, he led them to two NFC South titles, an NFC championship, and another Super Bowl victory, the teams second ever. He has the most Super Bowl appearances at ten, Super Bowl wins at seven, and Super Bowl MVP awards at five.
However, it is not just his Super Bowl runs that make him the greatest to ever do it. Brady owns almost any record imaginable when it comes to all-time leaders. He is the all-time passing yards, pass attempts, pass completions, and touchdowns leader, including becoming the first player to throw 600+ TDs. He won three regular season MVP awards, with one more possibly pending for this past season. Brady places second in fourth-quarter comebacks(42), and game winning drives(53) all-time. He is the winningest QB in NFL history with 278 wins, and has beaten all 32 teams in the league. He is the only person who has had two different Hall of Fame careers in one.
What makes him so special, though, is his work ethic; his determination and passion to be the best he can be. He never wanted to be the highest paid QB, he even took pay cuts while in New England because he cared more about investing in a winning team rather than being the highest paid player. He wanted to continuously get better, even when he already looked the best. He solidified his status as the greatest of all time years ago, and yet, he never took his foot off the break, always finding ways to improve.
Brady finished his last season, 485-of-719, 5,316 yards, 43 TDs, 6 INTs, a 13-4 record and a trip to the AFC Divisional game, where he lost 30-27 to the Los Angeles Rams.
Congratulations on a helluva career. Love him or hate him, there will never be another like him.