The end of an era: Tom Brady retires after 23-year career


Photo courtesy of @tombrady on Instagram

Tom Brady went online to reminisce on his career following his retirement from the NFL, Feb. 1, 2023.

Tom Brady’s illustrious 23-year career came to an end on Wednesday morning, when in a surprising video posted to his Twitter account, he said that “he’s done for good this time.” With a legendary career that spanned across three decades and finished with seven Super Bowls, Brady is considered by many in the football community to be the greatest football player of all time.

Starting his career as the 199th overall pick to the New England Patriots in the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady came into the league as a longshot to become a franchise quarterback. Starting his career as a backup behind four-time Pro Bowler Drew Bledsoe, Brady was not given an opportunity to play from day one, only throwing three passes in his rookie campaign.

That opportunity instead came in 2001 when Bledsoe suffered a lung injury in a week 2 matchup with the Jets, sending Brady into the game and the near future. He completed five of his 10 passes for 46 yards in a 10-3 loss. The loss was just the start of a wonderful career for Brady that would change the trajectory of the league forever.

New England was known as one of the worst organizations in football before the emergence of Brady, but his breakout season in 2001 led the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history and changed that narrative in just one season. With him under center, the team continued to dominate the league, finishing with a winning record for his entire tenure with the team, headlined by an undefeated 16-0 regular season in 2007.

In his 23 years in the NFL, Brady would go on to set an unprecedented amount of
wins by a quarterback (251), passing yards (82,914), passing touchdowns (649) and Pro Bowl appearances (15).

His combination of seeing the whole field and pure arm talent allowed him to dominate the league for as long as he did, which has never been seen in the history of the league. His leadership ability earned him the respect of every player and coach he ever played with, paving the way for his six Super Bowl titles with New England and one with Tampa Bay.

On Feb. 1 last year, Brady announced his retirement for the first time before coming back for one last season with Tampa Bay. “We have unfinished business,” Brady posted on his Instagram, ending his brief 40-day retirement.

In his 23rd season, Brady captured another NFC South title despite finishing with a losing record. The team struggled mightily throughout the season, but with his steady hand at under center, the team was still able to come up with clutch moments to give them another postseason berth.

His final season ended in the Wild Card round with a 31-14 loss to the Cowboys, going 35-66, with 351 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Brady’s unprecedented career will surely earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame, leaving behind a legacy that changed the course of the NFL forever. His legacy on the field will never be forgotten, paving the way for future generations of quarterbacks.