Facebook Pixel

    How Long Did Tom Brady Play in the NFL? Looking Back at the QB’s Historic Career

    Tom Brady had arguably the most impressive career in NFL history. Let's look back on a fantastic career spanning two decades and two teams.

    Despite recent hints that he may be open to another comeback, it really seems as though Tom Brady’s long and storied NFL career is finally over.

    Brady’s career is loaded with accomplishments and records, which is why he’s widely regarded as the greatest of all time. Let’s take a look back at his unbelievable career.

    Tom Brady’s Multi-Decade Career

    When Brady was drafted 199th overall in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, no one would have predicted his career would span 23 seasons. Incumbent QB Drew Bledsoe signed a 10-year, $103 million contract with the New England Patriots, the largest in league history at the time, the following offseason.

    One hit changed everything as Bledsoe was injured early in 2001, and from there, Brady and New England never looked back. That first season, Brady would lead New England to an 11-3 record in his 14 starts before running the table in the playoffs to claim the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory.

    MORE: Which QBs Were Picked Ahead of Tom Brady in 2000 NFL Draft?

    The Patriots came back down to earth in 2002 with a 9-7 record, seeing them miss the playoffs. However, the team and their QB reloaded and went again, winning the Super Bowl in both the 2003 and 2004 seasons. That gave the Patriots and Brady three Super Bowl rings in his first four seasons as a starter.

    Little did we know then that Brady and New England would have to wait until 2014 to lift the Lombardi Trophy again. After losing two Super Bowls in five years to the New York Giants, the Patriots overcame the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

    Brady went on to claim dozens of NFL records. Notable ones include seven Super Bowl wins, most regular-season wins, and most regular-season passing yards. He also joined Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks to defeat all 32 teams.

    Brady finished his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, joining them in 2020. At that point, he had six Super Bowl victories and three losses. His first year with the Buccaneers would see him make that record 7-3 as he led his new team to their second Super Bowl victory in franchise history.

    In total, Brady would spend three years with the Buccaneers after 20 seasons with the Patriots. He would briefly retire after his second season in Tampa Bay before deciding to return later the same offseason. However, he could not repeat the magic of that first season in a new uniform.

    There was some interesting symmetry to the end of Brady’s career and his time in New England. On both occasions, his final game came in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, with a loss at home. Another common theme was the struggles of the offenses in those two games, scoring a combined 27 points across the two games.

    KEEP READING: What is Tom Brady’s Net Worth?

    For his part, Brady’s final games with both teams ended with a completion percentage below 55% and an interception. After such a glorious career for both teams and in general, they were a pair of underwhelming endings.

    After all his success during his career, it was somewhat of a surprise not to see Brady end his 23-year career standing on a podium and holding a Lombardi Trophy.

    Related Articles