Tom Brady Retirement: QB Had Surprising Plan Entering Offseason

It reportedly was Tampa or bust for the now-retired QB


February 1

Tom Brady’s team learned about his retirement decision just two hours before the rest of us.

Brady informed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 6 a.m. ET on Wednesday that he was calling it a career, according to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. The quarterback publicly announced his retirement in a social media video posted at 8:12 a.m.

Darlington’s report also indicated Brady was not seriously considering joining a third franchise for what would have been his 24th NFL season.

“Brady for months implied to many close to him that it was going to be either a return to Tampa or retirement,” Darlington tweeted. “Tough for many to believe, including those close, but he meant it.”

The 45-year-old had been linked to several teams with QB questions, including Josh McDaniels’ Las Vegas Raiders, Mike Vrabel’s Tennessee Titans, the New York Jets, the Miami Dolphins and his hometown San Francisco 49ers. Former teammates Julian Edelman and Devin McCourty, among others, both said they expected Brady to play for a team other than Tampa Bay in 2023.

After 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, Brady played his final three with the Buccaneers, winning his seventh Super Bowl in his first year in Tampa. His final NFL game was a wild-card round loss to the Dallas Cowboys last month.

Both of Brady’s teams celebrated his retirement announcement on social media. The superstar signal-caller will be a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible in 2028.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady
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