After announcing it through a Twitter video, Tom Brady has officially retired from the National Football League (NFL) after 23 seasons. This comes a year after Brady originally retired on February 1st, 2022, but eventually unretired and came back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2022-23 season. Brady filed his retirement papers as well with the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA_, ending any speculation that he may try to unretire for a second time. He plans on starting his analyst job with Fox Sports for the 2024 season, which will reportedly pay him #375 million over his ten-year deal. The retirement of Brady marks the end of one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen. So now, let us breakdown the career of the greatest player of all time, Tom Brady.
Brady was drafted with the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft, coming from The University of Michigan. He played for the Michigan Wolverines football team from 1995 to 1999. During his time at Michigan, Brady served as a backup quarterback for his first two years before becoming the starting quarterback in his junior year. He led the Wolverines to an Orange Bowl victory in 1999 and finished his college career with 5,351 passing yards and 35 touchdown passes. Once on the Patriots, Brady didn’t play much in his rookie season due to Pro Bowler Drew Bledsoe being the Patriots Starting quarterback. Bledsoe, however, suffered a season-ending injury early in the 2001 season allowing the young Brady to slide in as the team’s starter. He had a solid first season, throwing for 18 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, and was able to lead the Patriots to their first Super Bowl victory. Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick were able to set up a dynasty that saw the Patriots reach 9 Super Bowls in 18 years, winning six of them. In that time, it also saw Brady win 3 Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards and play in 15 Pro Bowls. After the 2019 season, which saw the Patriots lose in the Wild Card round to the Tennessee Titans, Brady decided to show the world he doesn’t need Bill Belichick to be a winner and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In three seasons with the Bucs, Brady made the playoffs all three times and secured his seventh championship in 2020, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs. After 23 seasons, Brady finishes with 89,214 passing yards, 649 passing touchdowns, and 212 interceptions.
There are certainly many arguments to be made in favor of Brady as the greatest player ever. He has won a record seven Super Bowl championships, five Super Bowl MVP, and has been named to the Pro Bowl 15 times. He also holds numerous NFL records, including the most career touchdown passes and the most career passing yards in the regular season and playoffs combined. However, there are other players who are also considered to be in the conversation for the title of greatest player ever, including Jerry Rice, Jim Brown, Lawrence Taylor, Joe Montana, among many others. Ultimately, determining the greatest player ever is difficult because of the different eras, rules, and competition levels across different generations of the sport. However, Brady is undoubtedly one of the greatest, if not the greatest player of our generation.
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