Tom Brady has decided to call it quits.
“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition—if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed,” the seven-time Super Bowl champion wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Shortly after losing to the Rams in the NFC Divisional Game on Jan. 23, the 44-year-old Brady seemed open to the idea of retirement. Last week, he spoke about family sacrifices during his weekly SiriusXM “Let’s Go!” podcast with co-host Jim Gray. Brady, widely considered the G.O.A.T., mentioned how the sight of him getting hit “pains” his wife, Gisele Bündchen.
“As I’ve gotten older, I think the best part is, football is extremely important in my life and it means a lot to me and I care about what we’re trying to accomplish as a team and my teammates,” the future Hall of Famer said. “The biggest difference now that I’m older is I have kids now, and I care about them a lot as well.”
The official announcement was met with an outpouring of praise, including a statement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL,” Goodell said. “His record five Super Bowl MVP awards and seven Super Bowl championships set a standard that players will chase for years. He inspired fans in New England, Tampa and around the world with one of the greatest careers in NFL history.”
Brady leaves the game after earning more than $292 million over his career, according to Spotrac, which tracks player and team salaries, and he plans to spend more time focusing on his investment portfolio, which has steadily expanded over the last few years. In 2020, Brady, the 199th pick in the 2000 draft, launched a content company, 199 Productions, following other former and current athletes who’ve created video-production outfits. Earlier this month, Brady launched a next-generation apparel brand (Brady Brand).
He also bought a stake in crypto firm FTX last year, and he’s geared several of his investments toward capturing the next generation of consumer. Autograph, the NFT startup co-founded by Brady, recently closed on a $170 million Series B funding round led by VC firms Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins. Brady is among other athletes that have also invested in the next-gen creator platform, Sagespot.
It’s unclear yet how Brady will spend the extra time, but he’ll have seemingly endless opportunities, whether that’s in crypto, fashion or production.
(The headline and story have been updated to reflect Brady’s official retirement announcement, as well as a quote from Roger Goodell.)