Tom Brady Opens Up About Going Against NFL Retirement Vow

'I meant it at the time'


February 7

Tom Brady ultimately did not go through with the pledge he made for the end of his NFL career.

As Brady played through the back nine of his football tenure, everyone and their mother wanted to know when the future Hall of Famer would say enough is enough. Instead of instituting a clear finish line or giving a long-winded answer, Brady simply stated he would stop playing when he wasn’t good anymore.

That proved to not be how things played out with TB12. The 45-year-old finished the 2022 season third in the league in passing yards and posted an impressive touchdown-to-interception ratio for a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that he effectively had to carry on his shoulders. Brady looked like a player who still had something in the tank and needed a change of scenery, but he decided to pass on free agency and retire last week.

On the latest episode of his “Let’s Go!” podcast, Brady was reminded by co-host Jim Gray of his “I’ll retire when I suck” vow.

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“That?s true. I did say that. And I meant it at the time,” Brady told Gray. “That was so long ago. I missed a few things in the meantime and certainly just have loved every experience that I’ve had doing it and doesn’t always go right, and I always tell this to my kids a lot, you know, it’s not about whether you win or lose, it’s about the process of trying to get the most out of yourself.

“And if you feel like you’ve done it then there’s a lot to be gained from it. And if you feel like you cheated that, then you feel like you’ve cheated yourself. And I think I’ve always wanted to maximize my ability as a player and now I get to maximize my ability in life as a person and as a human and as a man and as a father and as a son and as a brother and as a friend and as a teammate to different things going forward. So there’s a lot of things to be excited about.”

Brady shared similar sentiments Monday on FS1’s “The Herd.” While the seven-time Super Bowl champion seems genuinely excited about the next chapter of his life, it doesn’t sound like his latest retirement was a no-brainer decision.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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