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Tom Brady retires – and says this time it’s for good

Tom Brady, who won a record seven Super Bowls for New England and Tampa, has announced his retirement.

Brady – the most successful quarterback in NFL history, and one of the greatest athletes in team sports – posted the announcement on social media on Wednesday morning, a brief video lasting just under one minute.

“Good morning guys. I’ll get to the point right away,” Brady said as the message began. “I’m retiring. For good.”

He briefly retired after the 2021 season, but wound up coming back for one more year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He retires aged 45, the owner of numerous passing records in an unprecedented 23-year career.

A year ago when he last retired, the announcement came in the form of a long Instagram post. But about six weeks later, Brady revealed he had decided to come back for one more run.

The Buccaneers – with whom he won a Super Bowl two seasons ago – made the playoffs again this season, losing in their play-off opener.

And at the time, it begged the question about whether Brady would play again.

Only a couple weeks later, he has given the answer.

“I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning, I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first,” Brady said in the video.

“I won’t be long-winded. You only get one super emotional retirement essay and I used mine up last year.

“I really thank you guys so much, to every single one of you for supporting me. My family, my friends, teammates, my competitors. I could go on forever. There’s too many.

“Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you all.”

Brady is the NFL’s career leader in yards passing (89,214) and touchdowns (649). He’s the only player to win more than five Super Bowls and has been MVP in the sport’s biggest game five times.

Famously underrated coming into the NFL – he was picked 199th in the 2000 draft by the Patriots, behind six other quarterbacks, three kickers and a punter – Brady certainly wasn’t expected to become synonymous with greatness.

He played in one game as a rookie, completing one of three passes for six yards.

The next year, it all changed.

Brady took over as the Patriots’ starter, the team beat the St Louis Rams in the Super Bowl that capped the 2001 season, and he and New England coach Bill Belichick were well on their way to becoming the most successful coach-QB duo in football history.

More Super Bowl wins came after the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The Patriots returned to football’s mountaintop for a fourth time in Brady’s era a decade later to cap the 2014 season, the start of three more titles in a span of five years.

In 2020, he joined the Buccaneers and won his seventh Super Bowl. He spent his last three years with Tampa Bay, getting them to the play-offs in each of those seasons.

“I think I’ve been on the record dozens of times saying there’s no quarterback I’d rather have than Tom Brady, and I still feel that way,” Belichick said in 2021.

Brady has won three NFL MVP awards, been a first-team All-Pro three times and selected to the Pro Bowl 15 times.

Brady and supermodel Gisele Bundchen last year finalised their divorce after 13 years of marriage.

It was announced last year that when Brady retired from playing, he would join Fox Sports as a television analyst in a 10-year, $US375 million ($530 million) deal.

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