7-time Super Bowl champ Tom Brady announces he's 'retiring for good'
Tom Brady says he's retiring again. And this time it's for real.
Brady posted a video to social media Wednesday morning announcing his retirement for the second time. He retired after the 2021 season but reversed course six weeks later. Wednesday, he said he was done for good.
"Good morning, guys, I’ll get to the point right away. I’m retiring for good,” Brady said.
“I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning I figured I just press record and let you guys know first. I won’t be long-winded. You only get one super-emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year.”
Truly grateful on this day. Thank you 🙏🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/j2s2sezvSS
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) February 1, 2023
Brady leaves football with the most Super Bowls of any player in NFL history and will be a surefire first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame member. He’s the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns and QB wins in both the regular season and postseason. Brady’s teams went to 10 Super Bowls and won seven of them. Six of those victories came with the New England Patriots while his final Super Bowl win in February 2021 came with the Bucs.
"Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL," commissioner Roger Goodell said after Brady retired in 2022. "An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year. Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments. ... It has been a privilege to watch him compete and have him in the NFL."
Brady, 45, announced his second retirement exactly a year after he said he was retiring following the 2021 season. The first retirement came after his Buccaneers lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs. This retirement comes after the Bucs lost a round earlier in the playoffs to the Dallas Cowboys.
Brady retires exactly a year after he retired in 2022
After retiring on Feb. 1, 2022, Brady said he was coming back to the Buccaneers in early March for a 23rd season. That return to football wasn’t a smooth one both on and off the field. Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen confirmed their divorce in late October amid months of reports about their relationship following Brady’s decision to continue playing.
The Buccaneers also had their worst season with Brady at quarterback. While Tampa Bay won the NFC South, it did so with an 8-9 record and an offense that didn’t look in sync for much of the season. The team’s running game was virtually non-existent for much of the season as Brady threw a league-high 733 passes.
No other QB threw more than 700 passes in 2022 or had more than Brady’s 490 completions. He finished third in passing yards behind likely MVP Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. But the Bucs averaged just over 18 points per game in 2022; just seven teams averaged fewer points per game.
Tampa’s offensive struggles were on full display in the playoff loss to the Cowboys. Dallas dominated Tampa Bay in the 31-14 win, and the Bucs made myriad coaching moves below head coach Todd Bowles after the season was over.
Those moves included the departure of offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. The move to change coordinators was seen as a possible way to keep Brady around for a 24th season. But that looks extremely unlikely to happen now.
Assuming this retirement sticks, Brady ends his career as a three-time first-team All-Pro selection and a 15-time Pro Bowler. He’ll finish his career with 89,214 career regular-season passing yards and 649 passing TDs to just 212 interceptions. He’ll also end his career with 35 postseason victories over 48 games and 13,400 passing yards and 88 touchdown passes in the playoffs.
Brady’s next step now that his playing career appears to be officially over could be a move to the broadcast booth. Brady previously signed a contract with Fox Sports to be a game analyst when his playing career is over, though the emergence of former NFL tight end Greg Olsen as an excellent broadcaster could complicate Brady’s immediate broadcast future. Olsen and Kevin Burkhardt are set to call the Super Bowl with the Chiefs and Eagles, and Fox has said that it has no plans for Brady to be involved with its coverage of the game.
How Brady’s retirement affects the Bucs’ salary-cap situation
Brady signed a two-year deal worth $50 million when he joined the Buccaneers after the 2019 season. His compensation for the 2022 season after he came back was $15 million and his decision to retire has a significant impact on Tampa’s 2023 salary cap.
Because of the deferred money involved in Brady’s contracts with Tampa Bay, the Bucs will take an $11 million hit against the salary cap in 2023 and $24 million over 2024. Brady was set to have a dead cap hit of $35 million against the Bucs’ cap in 2023 had he signed with another team.
With the cap moving up to $224 million in 2023, Brady’s retirement is the best financial decision for Tampa Bay if he wasn’t going to return to the organization. With a roster that was built to chase Super Bowls with Brady on it, the Bucs need to make over $50 million in contract cuts and adjustments to get under the cap for next season.