Tom Brady’s Retirement


Cooper Ams, Print Editor

This past week, news broke that 7-time Super Bowl Champion, Tom Brady, announced his retirement from professional football after 22 seasons. Brady’s character and greatness have been on display for the past two decades, which will make it hard to find somebody to replace him. It will take the sports world some time to adjust to this decision, as the NFL will not be the same without Brady out on the field. 

Brady started his career with the New England Patriots, being selected in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL Draft and with the 199th overall pick. Appearing as just another quarterback from Michigan, Brady started his career as a 4th string quarterback but became the backup to Drew Bledsoe by the end of the 2000 season. Brady was given a chance to show off his talent when Bledsoe was injured in 2001 after a rough hit caused internal bleeding for Bledsoe. Brady took this opportunity and didn’t look back. Brady became the starter for the Patriots after their 2nd game in 2001 and continued on to win 11 out of the 14 games he started that year, leading the Patriots to a playoff spot. After defeating the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Divisional Round, the Patriots moved on to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. In the AFC Championship Game, Brady injured his knee, causing him to be replaced by his former successor, Drew Bledsoe, who led the Patriots to win the game by a score of 24-17. Brady was able to return, however, for Super Bowl XXXVI, where he led the Patriots down the field at the end of the game to put them in field goal range for kicker Adam Vinatieri, who kicked the game winning field goal for the Patriots, making them Super Bowl Champions. This was New England’s first Super Bowl title and Brady was named Super Bowl MVP for his stellar performance. This season was only a glimpse of what was to come for Brady and the Patriots over the next 18 years. In his tenure in New England, Brady went on to win 6 Super Bowls, 3 NFL MVPs, 4 Super Bowl MVPs, 2 NFL Offensive Player of the Year awards, and the 2009 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. During this time, Brady was also named to 14 Pro Bowls, was a part of the NFL All Pro First Team 3 times, and the NFL All Pro Second Team twice. Brady led the league in passer rating in 2007 and 2010, passing yards in 2005, 2007, and 2017, and completion percentage in 2007 and 2010. Brady’s illustrious career in New England came to an end, however, in 2019, when he decided that he would leave the Patriots for a new destination.

Tampa Bay was Brady’s landing spot in 2020. While many were skeptical that Brady would be “washed up” after leaving the Patriots, this was quite the opposite. Brady led the Buccaneers to one of their best seasons in recent history, making the playoffs in his first year. Brady led the Bucs to the Super Bowl to face the red-hot Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. This seemed like it would be the moment where Brady passed the crown on to the next great quarterback in the NFL, but it did not play out like this. Brady showed everybody that he was the greatest quarterback of all time, beating the Chiefs handedly to claim his seventh Super Bowl title and fifth Super Bowl MVP. After this past season in Tampa Bay, many thought that he should win his 4th NFL MVP, leading the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns. This caused his abrupt announcement of retirement to shock everyone. Brady plans to sign, either physically or digitally with an esignature, a one-day contract with the New England Patriots to retire with the organization where it all started. Having grown up watching Brady and the Patriots dominate the league for many years, I must say that this moment is bittersweet. It is sweet in the fact that Brady will no longer be around to dominate the league, but it is bitter because of the fact that we won’t be able to witness his greatness anymore. Football won’t experience anybody quite like Tom Brady for a while, as he will be forever known as the G.O.A.T.