Tom Brady, one of the greatest players in NFL history, is set to retire.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, 44, won seven Super Bowls in an astonishing career spanning 22 seasons.
The five-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player won six titles with the New England Patriots before his final triumph with the Buccaneers last year.
His final game was a 30-27 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams in the play-offs, when his heroics narrowly failed to see the Bucs fight back from 27-3 down.
Brady, a three-time NFL season MVP, had a year remaining on his Tampa contract and has previously talked about playing beyond his 45th birthday, which is a month before the start of next season.
However, according to reports he has chosen to bring a close to his playing career in the NFL, 20 years of which were spent with the Patriots.
As first reported by ESPN, Brady’s decision to retire is based on several factors, including family and health.
A post on the social media account of TB12 Sports, the fitness and training company set up by Brady and his personal trainer Alex Guerrero, lists his achievements and finishes: “22 incredible seasons. Thank you for it all, Tom Brady.”
Brady played in 10 Super Bowls in total, including a miraculous comeback from 28-3 down against the Atlanta Falcons in 2017, and had a perfect 16-0 regular season with the Patriots in 2007.
He won a Super Bowl in three different decades.
Asked about his future after the defeat by the Rams, Brady said: “I haven’t put a lot of thought into it. We’ll just take it day by day and see where we are at.”
‘The greatest professional athlete we have seen’
“Tom Brady should be the first player in history to be in the Hall of Fame while he’s still playing,” two-time Super Bowl champion Osi Umenyiora told BBC One after Brady won his seventh ring in February 2021.
“What this man has done is almost beyond belief, almost beyond words. I cannot describe the level of difficulty, what it took for this man to do what he’s done.
“Every single year this guy’s been doubted, every single year this man rises to the top like a phoenix. This guy is the greatest professional athlete we have seen in history, and this goes for any sport. And I’m not just saying that to be hyperbolic.
“What this guy is doing in the quarterback position – the hardest position to play in sports – winning over and over again… my hat’s off to this guy.”