The GOAT calls it a career: Tampa Bay Bucs' Tom Brady could retire, ESPN sources say

Posted at 2:49 PM, Jan 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-30 10:59:44-05

TAMPA, Fla — Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback in the history of the National Football League, might not return for another season with the Bucs. The news was first reported by ESPN Saturday afternoon.

SLIDESHOW: Brady's final year as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer

An official announcement from Brady is expected soon. However, Brady's agent said in a statement that the retirement isn't official.

With the retirement, the first-ballot Hall of Famer’s storied career would come to an end after 22 seasons and seven Super Bowl championships.

Brady was a sixth-round draft pick out of the University of Michigan. The New England Patriots selected the lanky quarterback with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. The Patriots saw something in Brady that the rest of the league missed and Brady used the motivation from being overlooked for the next 22 years.

Brady’s chance to become a starting quarterback in the NFL came after an injury to then Patriots starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe. The long-time starter was injured while running towards the sideline when he was hit by Bryan Cox of the New York Jets. The injury was extremely serious for Bledsoe, though he would return to play again.

But Brady entered the game and the rest is history.

Brady led the Patriots to the Super Bowl as a quarterback six different times, with his final championship in New England coming in 2019 when his Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3.

After that season, Brady left New England and joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his first season in Tampa, he led the Buccaneers to the team’s first Super Bowl championship since the early 2000s. He reinvigorated the fan base and hopes were high for back-to-back championships in what some called Tompa Bay or Champa Bay.

But it wasn’t to be in 2022. Brady led another one of his furious comebacks against the Rams in the Divisional Round, but the defense couldn’t hold and Tampa Bay was eliminated.

Brady left the field and many hoped he would be back for one more season to lead the Bucs one more time. Unfortunately for Bucs fans, and NFL fans in general, that won’t happen.

With Brady’s retirement, the NFL loses the greatest quarterback in the history of the game after 22 seasons. The future Hall of Famer set or broke just about every conceivable record as a quarterback.

Brady finishes his career having thrown for more than 84,000 yards; 624 touchdowns; a career completion percentage of 64.2 percent; winning 243 games while losing just 73 in regular-season play.

In the playoffs, Brady was lethal as a quarterback. He threw for 13,049 yards, 86 touchdowns, 39 interceptions, averaged 278 passing yards per playoff game, all while compiling a 35-12 record in the playoffs.

In Tampa, he holds most of the team’s passing records, despite playing just two seasons by the bay.

Throughout his career, he led 42 comebacks and notched 53 game-winning drives, including some of the top ones in NFL history, including a massive comeback in the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons when he led New England back from 25 points down to win the game.

The GOAT, greatest ever, Hall of Famer, unbeatable records, and more all apply to Tom Brady. He will be missed by fans across the league who loved him or loved to hate him throughout his career.

He leaves the football game with seven Super Bowl championships, five Super Bowl MVPs, 3 NFL MVP trophies, and a National Championship (when he was in college as a Michigan Wolverine). He leaves an unmatchable legacy and the thanks of football fans everywhere for the greatest quarterback career we will likely ever see.

This is a breaking news story. ABC Action News will update this story as more information becomes available.