Tom Brady already retired this offseason, but that lasted all of 40 days. The Buccaneers quarterback is coming back for his age-45 campaign, and 2022 may not be his last NFL season. How many more years will the GOAT play, and when will Brady officially retire?
When will Tom Brady retire?
Brady has nothing left to prove in the NFL. He’s appeared in nine Super Bowls and won six. He’s the all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and quarterback wins, and he’s widely considered the greatest signal-caller in league history.
With his legacy secure, Brady’s passion for football is what keeps him going. “I don’t think proving it for me is the motivation,” Brady told “Good Morning America” in 2021. “Like, I still want to play. I’ve got like a little sickness in me that just wants to throw a freaking spiral, you know what I mean?
When Brady announced his unretirement, he stated that he simply still loves playing the game of football. “These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” Brady wrote on Twitter. “That time will come. But it’s not now.”
So when will Brady finally give up the game for good? The truth is that only he knows the answer to that question. But he has dropped some hints at various points in his career.
Brady once said he wants to keep playing “until he sucks,” and that day certainly hasn’t come yet. He led the NFL in passing yards, completions, and touchdowns in 2021 while finishing second in the MVP race. From an on-field perspective, he’s nowhere near done.
Brady has indicated that he’d continue his career until he was 45 years old — that deadline is quickly approaching. He’ll turn 45 in August, so 2022 would presumably be his final NFL campaign if he sticks to that timeline. Of course, Brady has also said his body should allow him to play into his 50s.
Would Brady retire if the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl next season? How about if he wins the MVP? Or could he leave Tampa Bay and continue his career elsewhere in 2023?
Brady will be a free agent next offseason, and he has a clause in his contract that prevents the Bucs from franchise tagging him. He’ll have the chance to hit the open market and keep playing for another team.
While he hardly has anything left to accomplish in the NFL, Brady could conceivably keep playing for several more years. He has the drive, and his physical skills have not deteriorated. Could we see a 50-year-old quarterback hoisting the Lombardi Trophy? Only time will tell.
Brady’s post-retirement plans
Once Brady officially retires, he already has a post-playing career job lined up. He inked a 10-year, $375 million contract to become FOX’s lead NFL announcer after he hangs up his cleats.
Brady said he still has “unfinished business” to take care of on the field before calling it quits. But once he does, he’ll team with Kevin Burkhardt to call FOX’s top games. Brady will also serve as an ambassador for FOX, helping with “client and promotional initiatives.”
Brady was extremely insightful and entertaining during his appearance on ESPN’s “Manningcast” last season, and he’ll likely be excellent once he dons the headset for FOX. We may just have to wait a while for that to happen.