When Did Tom Brady Retire? Revisiting the Legendary QB’s 23-Year NFL Career

Quarterback Tom Brady is regarded as one of the best NFL players in history. When did he retire, and what did his legendary career look like?

Quarterback Tom Brady had a remarkable NFL career that recently came to an end.

Brady went from a nearly forgotten sixth-round draft pick to the greatest quarterback of all time — and potentially the greatest player in NFL history. Let’s revisit Brady’s unparalleled NFL career.

Tom Brady’s Legendary Career

After a 23-year NFL career, Brady called it quits on Feb. 1, 2023, the same day he initially announced his retirement a year before. In 2022, Brady announced that he would be retiring but instead returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for one more season.

Brady spent his first 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, which is the most for an NFL quarterback with one franchise. He was a central contributor to the franchise’s dynasty from 2001 to 2019, and he’s widely regarded as the NFL’s GOAT (greatest of all time).

Over his final three seasons, he played for the Buccaneers and continued to defy Father Time. At 44 years old, he finished as the NFL MVP runner-up after leading the league in completions, yards, and touchdowns.

After playing college football at the University of Michigan, Brady was selected 199th overall by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, which later earned him the reputation as the NFL’s biggest draft steal.

MORE: Which Quarterbacks Were Drafted Ahead of Tom Brady?

He became the Patriots’ starting quarterback during his second season after Drew Bledsoe suffered a gruesome injury, and Brady made the most of his opportunity. He helped New England win their first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXVI.

As the team’s primary starter for 18 seasons, Brady led the Patriots to 17 division titles (including 11 consecutive from 2009 to 2019), 13 AFC Championship Games (including eight consecutive from 2011 to 2018), nine Super Bowl appearances, and six Super Bowl titles, all NFL records for a player and franchise.

He joined the Buccaneers in early 2020 and won Super Bowl LV, extending his individual record to 10 Super Bowl appearances and seven victories.

During his 21 seasons as the primary starter, he missed the playoffs only once in 2002 and had only one losing season in 2022.

Beginning in 2024, Brady will be the lead color commentator for NFL on Fox.

Brady holds many major quarterback records, including most career passing yards, completions, touchdown passes, and games started. He is the NFL leader in career quarterback wins, quarterback regular season wins, quarterback playoff wins, and Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, and he’s the only player with a Super Bowl MVP with two different franchises.

KEEP READING: Revisiting Tom Brady’s First NFL Start

Brady won 251 regular season games and 35 postseason games for a combined 286 wins. Brady holds a .754 winning percentage, which is the highest among NFL quarterbacks who have started 100 games.

Brady is also recognized for the longevity of his success. He was the oldest NFL MVP at the age of 40, the oldest Super Bowl MVP at the age of 43, and the oldest quarterback selected to the Pro Bowl at the age of 44.

He put a definite end to his career in a short video shared to X, formerly Twitter, last February.

“I’m retiring for good,” he said in the video. “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. It won’t be long-winded. You only get one super-emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year.

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

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