The Retirement and Un-Retirement of Tom Brady

Jan 9, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) against the Carolina Panthers prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

By Priya DuBois

For 20 years, Tom Brady led the patriots to 6 Superbowl wins. He was a key part of the Patriots’ success. In 8888 Brady was a free agent, meaning he had no current contract with any team in the National Football League (NFL). He announced that he was not playing for the Patriots and would be continuing his career in Tampa Bay to play for the Buccaneers. That April, Brady’s formerly retired friend and fellow Super Bowl champion, Rob Gronkowski, announced that he was coming out of retirement to play alongside Brady once again. 

There had always been rumors of Brady’s retirement from the Patriots, and upon his announcement of switching teams, fans and reporters were quick to dive into the reasons as to why Brady left the team. One of the biggest rumors is that the Patriots didn’t offer him the amount of money that he wanted.  Another great quarterback, Aron Rodgers, has a contract for four seasons in which he makes 200 million dollars with 153 million guaranteed,while in 2015- 2017 the patriots only paid Brady 13, 14, and 15 million dollars. In Brady’s first year playing in Tampa Bay, he made 25 million dollars. For many years, it was suspected that Tom Brady was asking for these lower rarest to allow the team to spend more money on signing younger players. Additionally, Brady was in no place where he needed the extra money as his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen made twice as much money as Brady did. However upon Brady leaving the Patriots, many started to revisit the theory that he wanted more than what he was getting paid. 

After leaving the New England Patriots, Brady made a point to show no hard feelings or to say anything negative regarding his former coaches or teammates from New England. He used aspects such as being close to his family and the warm weather in Tampa Bay as his reasoning as to why he decided to leave The Patriots after so many years.

Near the end of January 2022, there were rumors that the seven-time Super Bowl champion was going to retire. On his podcast, Lets Go!, Brady addressed these rumors by brushing them off and telling fans to not assume anything. This made many think that he was not in fact retiring. But finally, on February 1st, Brady posted on Instagram confirming his retirement from the NFL. In his post, he thanked his family, Bucs teammates, Bucs coaches, and the city of Tampa Bay, amongst others. However nowhere in his lengthy retirement speech, and farewell to football did he mention The New England Patriots. This angered many Patriots fans and the negative comments led to Brady giving a mere story post in which he thanked his fans in New England for their support. 

However, less than two months after Tom Brady’s retirement announcement, the tables turned yet again when the seven-time Super Bowl champion announced he was coming back for his 23rd season. He said “I have realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now.” 

There is a lot of uncertainty regarding how many more seasons Tom Brady will play for. The majority of NFL players retire at age 27 due to concussions, skill levels, and general health concerns, however, Tom Brady is still playing at age 44. Many expect that he will retire after the 2022 season, while others think he will go out after securing an eighth Super Bowl win. While the future after his 23rd season is unknown, football fans can certainly expect Tom Brady to make his last years as an NFL quarterback groundbreaking and memorable. 

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