Well, it has finally happened. The greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, has officially decided to call it a career. Although this is technically the second time he has done so, he made sure to emphasize that this one would stick. With one of the most accomplished and storied careers in NFL history, the logical next step is the NFL Hall of Fame. Brady is guaranteed to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but the question now becomes when is he eligible for the esteemed honor?
When Is Tom Brady Eligible for the NFL Hall of Fame?
Luckily for everyone that was asking the question, the Pro Football Hall of Fame took to social media shortly after Brady’s announcement to clarify when he would be eligible.
“Should this morning’s retirement announcement truly be the end of Tom Brady’s illustrious career, 2028 is a year worth noting.”
So there it is, Brady will officially be eligible to enter the Hall of Fame in 2028. A quick look at the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website helps clarify why 2028 will be the year for Brady. According to the HOF, football players are not deemed eligible until they’ve been inactive for five consecutive seasons. With Brady officially retiring in 2023, that makes 2028 the magical number.
MORE: NFL All-Time QB Records
Now, if Brady decides to once again lace up his cleats, that will simply push back the inevitable even further. However, Brady’s announcement felt awfully definitive.
“I’m retiring. For good. 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.
“I won’t be long-winded. You only get one super-emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year. So, really thank you guys so much to every single one of you for supporting me, my family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors. I can 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.”
Who Else Could Be Eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2028?
As of right now, there is one other name that will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2028. That would be J.J. Watt, who also decided to retire at the end of this season. Watt, who is all but guaranteed to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, retired after another excellent season with the Arizona Cardinals.
Watt and Brady are the two names that everyone will be looking for in 2028, but there are a few other players from 2027 who might still be available that year. One name that stands out is tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Now, the chances that Gronk is not inducted in 2027 when he is first eligible are low, however, how amazing would it be for the two long-time teammates and friends to enter the HOF together?
Considering Gronk came out of retirement once to join Brady for another Super Bowl run with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shows just how close the two are. After all their years of success in New England, is that really a surprise?
Tom Brady Career Stats
With Brady officially retiring, we can finally take a good snapshot of his career numbers. The one-of-a-kind QB is at the top of almost every career passing all-time record. Additionally, he holds a number of single-season passing records. He is the NFL leader for the following stats, according to Statmuse:
- Completions (regular season)
- Completions (postseason)
- Passing yards (regular season)
- Passing yards (postseason)
- Touchdowns (regular season)
- Touchdowns (postseason)
- Wins (regular season)
- Wins (postseason)
More importantly than all the individual accolades, Brady also has the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history with seven. He has been to 10 total Super Bowls and has won the Super Bowl MVP Award five times.
Just for fun, Brady also holds the record for the most Pro Bowl appearances at 15.