Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, widely considered the greatest player in NFL history, announced his retirement on Tuesday, bringing to an end a career that included a record seven Super Bowl championships.
The 44-year-old Brady spent 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, winning six Super Bowl titles, before relocating to Tampa Bay and leading the Bucs to a championship last season.
The announcement ends days of speculation that Brady had called it quits.
“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition – if a 100 per cent competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” Brady wrote on Twitter.
“There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximise my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.
“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”
Brady played in a record 10 Super Bowls, winning the game’s MVP award five times, and his 15 Pro Bowl selections remain the most in league history.
He led the league in touchdown passes and passing yards this season and could still potentially win his fourth league MVP trophy.