Tom Brady’s Retirement: A Career Retrospective

Earlier in 2023, Tom Brady announced his retirement after 23 seasons spent in the NFL. Once hailed as the best quarterback in NFL history, Brady’s celebrity status extended well beyond the league. Five career NFL records and seven Super Bowl wins later, it’s time to look back at Brady’s career with the New England Patriots and his later stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady’s Teams

Even today, Tom Brady’s image is inseparable from the New England Patriots. When he was picked by the Patriots at the 2000 NFL Draft, he was a sixth-round pick that didn’t stand out much from the crowd. It clearly paid off as he led the Patriots to the Vince Lombardi trophy six times. 2020 saw him transfer to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he got them a Super Bowl in 2021.

Brady elevated any team that he played with. In his absence, the Patriots and Buccaneers have lost their competitive edge. This shows in the NFL betting odds for the Super Bowl – the Patriots are at +6600 and the Bucs at +8000. 2022’s champs – the Kansas City Chiefs – lead the NFL odds at +600. It’s common for last year’s Super Bowl winners to lead the odds since they may carry momentum and do it again next year.

While it’s common for a team to have a few years of winning before losing their edge, Brady stayed hot for an unprecedented amount of time. His seven Super Bowl wins span the years 2001, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021. It didn’t matter if he was in his 20s, 30s, or even 40s, Brady elevated any team he was part of and made them an instant favorite for many fans when he was leading their roster.

Naturally, his explosive rookie year and his earlier performances with the Patriots were the highlights of his career. With the Buccaneers, it was obvious that retirement was coming due to his age, but he proved that he could still carry them to a championship and make them more competitive. Now, after his retirement, he has reaffirmed he’s a Patriot for life.

Brady’s Accolades

A quarterback doesn’t get the star power that Brady has without breaking a few records – five to be exact. At the time of his retirement, Brady leads in five NFL career records that make him, by the numbers, the best QB.

His quarterback win record at 251 is most impressive, along with his 649 passing touchdowns and 89,214 passing yards. Then, with passing attempts and completions, he finished at 12,050 and 7,753 yards.

For context, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are behind Brady in passing TDs and yards. Brees has 571 and 80,358 yards while Manning has 539 and 71,940 yards, and they’re both retired. This means Brady’s records are likely to stand for a long time to come.

Along with these records, Brady was the NFL MVP three times and played in 15 Pro Bowl games. Even in his final days, he bowed out on a high note by leading the NFL in pass completions and attempts for 2022 at 490 and 733. It was a good year to retire for the QB who had been called the Comeback King during his heyday.

In 2028, Brady will become eligible for the NFL’s Hall of Fame. After being expedited into the Patriots’ own hall of fame, he’s a shoo-in when the time comes. Meanwhile, as fans and former opponents adjust to an NFL without Tom Brady, everybody’s wondering who the next best quarterback will be.

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