Tom Brady, one of the world’s most decorated professional athletes and widely viewed as the greatest player in N.F.L. history, announced Wednesday that he would retire. For good this time.
“I’ll get to the point right away,” Brady, who just completed his 23rd season, said in a short video posted on social media. “I’m retiring. For good.”
He is expected to step into a role as a TV broadcaster, after signing a deal in 2022 with Fox Sports that was reportedly worth $375 million over 10 years.
Brady also runs several businesses. He founded the health and wellness company TB12 Sports with his longtime trainer Alex Guerrero. He also has Religion of Sports, which is a media company, and the Brady Brand clothing line.
Brady, 45, exits his football career as the most accomplished player in the sport. He won seven Super Bowls and was named the most valuable player of five of those games, both N.F.L. records. He sits atop the list for almost every major passing statistical category, including career completions (7,753), passing yards (89,214) and passing touchdowns (649), but distinguished himself most in the postseason, where he set records for game-winning drives (14) and fourth-quarter comebacks (9).
The oldest active player in the N.F.L. this season, Brady’s late-game heroics helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reach the playoffs again despite their 8-9 record. But the team lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs to the Dallas Cowboys by a 31-14 margin, which could not be surmounted even by Brady, whose last N.F.L. pass was an incompletion aimed at Julio Jones.
This season was his worst as a professional but still elite by comparison. Brady threw for 4,694 passing yards, the third most in the league, while completing 66.8 percent of his passes.
He retired after his third season with the Buccaneers, a campaign that at one point looked as if it wouldn’t happen: Brady first announced his retirement on Feb. 1, 2022, but reversed that decision after less than six weeks.
The season occurred with the backdrop of a tense period in his personal life. Brady and the supermodel Gisele Bündchen, his wife of more than 13 years, announced in October that they had divorced. They have two children together — a son, Benjamin, 13, and a daughter, Vivian, 10. Brady also has a son, Jack, 15, from a previous relationship with the actress Bridget Moynahan.
Hints of disharmony between Brady and Bündchen began circulating at the end of the 2021 season. He had previously said in interviews that his focus on his career caused issues in the marriage, and in September 2022, Bündchen told Elle Magazine that she worried about his health if he continued to play. “Obviously, I have my concerns — this is a very violent sport, and I have my children and I would like him to be more present,” she said.
Brady missed several training camp practices in the summer, as well as two games in August for what was described as personal issues.
Brady joined the Buccaneers in 2020, leading Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl victory in his first year with the team. That season came after he left the New England Patriots, the franchise for which he had played his entire career to that point. Brady spent two decades in New England, where he won six world championships, but he did not come to new contract terms and left the team as an unrestricted free agent.
The Patriots drafted Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 N.F.L. draft. He won the starting quarterback job midway through his second season in 2001, replacing the injured Drew Bledsoe, and led New England that season to its first Super Bowl victory. Brady was linked to Coach Bill Belichick throughout his career in New England as the two shaped one of the league’s marquee dynasties. Along with winning six Super Bowls, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most among the N.F.L.’s franchises, the Patriots appeared in nine Super Bowls and 13 A.F.C. championship games.
But his career in New England also faced challenges. The N.F.L. in 2015 investigated whether the Patriots purposely deflated footballs to gain an advantage in the 2015 A.F.C. championship game. Brady served a four-game suspension for being “generally aware” of the scandal known as Deflategate.
After appearing to fumble against the Oakland Raiders in a playoff game that preceded his first Super Bowl win, Brady was also the face of the so-called tuck rule, which states that if a quarterback loses possession of the ball while his arm completes an intentional forward motion, the play should be ruled an incomplete pass instead of a fumble.