Skip to main content
tom Brady

Tom Brady Says Goodbye To The NFL Forever

It is a very somber time for the National Football League (NFL)  as Tom Brady, the seven time Super Bowl champion and greatest quarterback of all times’ career has come to an end. On February 1, 2022, Brady announced that he will be retiring from the NFL. His 22-year NFL career was filled with some of the best moments in football history, and although it is difficult to leave this part of his life behind, he is ready for new beginnings. 


Growing up, Brady lived in a very competitive environment. He was a part of a family of athletes and they were always competing with each other at anything they did, which is what initially sparked the competitive side in him. As a kid, his biggest idol was legendary quarterback Joe Montana, and would often go to San Francisco 49ers games to watch him play. Constantly watching and being surrounded by amazing athletes, made him realize he wanted to play football, so he began playing during his freshman year of high school in 1991. 


Although he didn’t start until his junior year, his positive attitude and competitive spirit made him a very integral part of the Serra High School team in San Mateo, California. He finished his career with 236 out of 447 completed passes, for 3,702 yards and 31 touchdowns. Some of his accomplishments include winning All-State, All-Far West Honors, and the team’s Most Valuable Player Award. 


Like many other athletes, the college process was a very confusing time for Brady. Originally, he wanted to go to college in California, however with offers from approximately 54 colleges, this decision was a major eyeopener for his future. An article on Tom Brady’s college recruitment states, “One thing that was non-negotiable was finding a program where Tom could excel on the field and in the classroom. With this criteria in mind, he quickly whittled his list to five schools.” The schools he narrowed it down to were the University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California (USC), University of Michigan, and Illinois. 


Once Brady and his dad, Tom Brady Sr., began to put his highlight reel together for colleges to watch, many coaches seeked an interest in him. However, one coach who did not hesitate to reach out to Brady was Michigan assistant Bill Harris. “‘When it came to our office, they forwarded it to me since (West Coast) is my territory,’ Harris said. ‘So I was the first person to look at it, and I liked what I saw. Then I showed it to Kit Cartwright, who was our quarterback coach. Kit said he looked pretty good. Then we showed it to head coach Gary Moeller. He agreed with us that it looks like he’s a kid who can play quarterback for Michigan.’” 


Although he was receiving much attention from one of his top picks, he kept his options open to see if anywhere else was more interested in him. One of his major setbacks was the fact that he was receiving more attention for baseball than he was for football. This was the sport everyone thought he was going to play professionally, but he always had his heart set on playing football. “‘Surprisingly, he was getting more attention for baseball,’ said John Kirby, who was one of Brady’s top receiving targets during his prep career. ‘We all thought he was going to be a pro baseball player. He was a really good catcher. In his senior year, he wound up getting drafted by the Montreal Expos back in the day.’” 


Despite the attention he was receiving from other colleges, he instantly knew that the University of Michigan was where he wanted to be after visiting the campus in January of 1995. He continued to receive much love and support from Bill Harris which also played a big factor in why he chose Michigan. Harris stated that Brady reminded him of “another uber-competitive Wolverines passer he coached earlier in his career.” 


Additionally, “‘I was coaching the receivers in 1986 when (jim) Harbaugh was a senior,’ Harris said. ‘I was always telling him that his receivers made him look good. He was a competitor. He didn’t want to lose at anything. Tommy is the same way. This man could be a Harbaugh. Harbaugh played in the pros for 18 years, and Tommy is going to play for 18 years. Same kind of people.’” 


Something that never failed to amaze people was the amount of love and passion he had for this sport. Even when times were tough he put his head down, focused on himself, and continued to chip away at his dreams. “‘He truly had the heart of a lion, and he wanted to compete. He never felt as if he was sitting in the second chair to anybody else. That spirit of competition has driven him in his time at Michigan, and that has continued in the NFL,’” Brady Sr. said. 


One of the biggest contributors to Tom Brady’s NFL drafting pick was veteran assistant Dick Rehbein. After being hired only eight weeks before the draft would take place, he recognized that there was plenty of work he needed to do. His biggest assignment was to study college quarterbacks and find one who could potentially back up starter Drew Bledsoe. 


The New England Patriots were a complete mess after the rocky 1999 season they had, losing six out of their final eight games and Head Coach Pete Carroll being fired. However, this brought in Bill Belichick, and the team made “the biggest steal in NFL Draft history: selecting Tom Brady in the sixth round.” Although another quarterback was the last thing the Patriots needed, Rehbein stated in an interview that Brady was, “‘the best fit for the (Patriots) system.’” 


Moreover, many teams didn’t seek much of an interest in Tom Brady because of his physique and how slow he was. The physical attributes he acquired convinced most that he wouldn’t be a good asset to their football team, but the mental aspect he brought to the game made up for it. In the eyes of his fellow teammates on the Patriots, his “mental makeup and leadership skills” made up for any negative contributions he made on the field. He was a leader… which is just what they needed. 


One thing Brady made sure to do with his time playing for the Patriots was prove everyone wrong. With constant comments flowing through his mind of people saying he didn’t have the build of a professional football player, he was too slow, or he wasn’t going to see the field at all because of the overpopulation of quarterbacks on this particular team, all he wanted was to show people he would become the greatest quarterback of all time.


Additionally, during his entire football career for the New England Patriots, he won six Super Bowl championships. Starting off in 2002, the National Football Conference (NFC) Champion, St. Louis Rams took on the American Football Conference (AFC) Champion, New England Patriots. They played in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, on February 3, 2002, and the Patriots defeated the Rams 20-17. This game was a huge success for the Patriots because it was the franchise’s first league championship of any kind, and New England’s first Super Bowl championship. 


This kickstarted Brady’s career as he was named Super Bowl MVP for throwing 145 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. He was only 24 at the time, making him the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, passing Joe Namath in Super Bowl III and Joe Montana, his longtime idol, in Super Bowl XVI. 


Furthermore, Super Bowl XXXVIII was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 1, 2004. During this time, AFC Champion, New England Patriots took a 32-29 win over NFC Champion, Carolina Panthers, where Tom Brady was yet again named MVP for his second Super Bowl. 


Moreover, on February 6, 2005, at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, Super Bowl XXXIX took place between the AFC Champion, New England Patriots, and the NFC Champion, Philadelphia Eagles. Here the Patriots defeated the Eagles 24-21, where Tom Brady had another memorable game, completing 23 out of 33 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns. 


Many years had gone by where the Patriots were unsuccessful in winning a Super Bowl, however they made their run again in the 2014 season, where they would go on to compete for another Super Bowl in 2015. On February 1, 2015, AFC Champion, New England Patriots secured a 28-24 win over the NFC Champion, Seattle Seahawks. This game was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium, in Glendale, Arizona. During this time, Brady threw 328 passing yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions thrown. 


Another year had gone by where the Patriots weren’t successful in winning the Super Bowl, but once February 5, 2017 came around, they were ready to face another hard fought football game, in hopes of being named Super Bowls Champions once again. Super Bowl LI was played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas against NFC Champion, Atlanta Falcons. There wasn’t much hope for the New England Patriots as they were down 28-3, however Tom Brady led his team to what is known as the best Super Bowl comeback in NFL history. 


After a rough first half, Brady helped the Patriots tie up the game, resulting in an exciting 34-28 win over the Falcons in overtime. Throughout the game Brady completed 43 passes in 62 attempts, for 466 yards with one interception and two touchdowns. 


Lastly, his final Super Bowl with the New England Patriots took place on the night of February 3, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Super Bowl LIII was the deciding factor on who would be the 2018 NFL Champion, AFC Champion, New England Patriots or NFC Champion, Los Angeles Rams. During this game, Brady completed 21 passes in 35 attempts for 262 yards with one interception, for his final season playing for the New England Patriots. 


Despite the unforgettable career Tom Brady had with the New England Patriots, his time with them came to an end in March of 2020. At this moment he signed a two year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because he was tired of making deals with people who didn’t value his input. As a result, he seeked a fair contract that would not only offer him the money he felt he deserved, but promise that he would be able to play with the team until 2022. 


Similar to his early career with the Patriots, peoples’ expectations for him were spiraling at a downward rate very quickly. His age often left people with doubt on what he would achieve and felt that he should have just retired after his last Super Bowl championship with the Patriots. However, he didn’t fail to prove people wrong for a second time now. Within his two year career playing for the Buccaneers, he managed to throw 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns. 


He also carried his team to yet another Super Bowl on February 7, 2021, at Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa, Florida. Here they took a 31-9 win over AFC Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. Following this performance, he went onto win the Super Bowl MVP Award and was named the 2021 Sports Illustrated Player of the Year. Lastly, he is a first-ballot lock for the Professional Football Hall of Fame. 


However, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and so his professional football career did. On February 1, 2022, Tom Brady announced he was retiring from the NFL for good. Brady stated, “I am not going to make the competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”

Ever since he stepped foot onto the football field as a freshman up until now, his life has revolved solely around football. He experienced many highs and lows, but no matter what he was being faced with, he always managed to stay focused and push through. In an interview he states that your motivation has to come from “proving it to yourself instead of to others.” 


Despite any inconveniences he has faced in his life so far, stepping away from the football field will always be one of his hardest battles. Calling an end to something you have devoted your whole entire life to is nothing but difficult, but Tom Brady is carrying that positive mindset with him off the field, and focusing it towards other aspects of life. More specifically, he plans to run the three companies that he co founded; Autograph, BRADY, and TB12 Sports. “The future is exciting,” Brady wrote in his retirement post. “I’m fortunate to have confounded incredible companies… that I am excited to continue to help build and grow.” 


A huge void will be left with no one to fill as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL retires. His positive attitude and competitive spirit will always stick with each and every coach player that had the privilege of playing alongside or against him. “I think sometimes in life the biggest challenges end up being the best things that happen in your life,” Tom Brady says.