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29 Jan, 2022 20:22

Retirement rumors swirl for NFL legend Brady

Reports online have indicated that NFL icon Tom Brady is close to announcing his retirement after a glittering 22 seasons on the gridiron
Retirement rumors swirl for NFL legend Brady

Several reports online have indicated that legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady is giving consideration to ending his career months out from his 45th birthday. 

It was reported online on Saturday that the former New England Patriot and present day Tampa Bay Buccaneer had called time on a career which brought him seven Super Bowls - more than any single team in the league. 

However, two hours or so after the initial rumors emerged from prominent reporters online, the waters muddied somewhat when further reports indicated that Brady was still mulling over the decision to step away and, according to NFL reporter Mike Silver, had contacted the Bucs' hierarchy to rubbish the Twitter rumors.

Brady, who joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season after 19 years in New England, won a record seventh Super Bowl with his new team in 2021 when his team outgunned Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs - a win which not just made him the oldest starting QB to win a Super Bowl, but the oldest starting QB to win a game period.

If he does opt to retire from the sport this season, it comes after his Buccaneers team were ousted from the playoffs by the LA Rams last weekend in a game in which Brady came close to authoring a sensational comeback after levelling the game at 27-27 with 42 seconds remaining after being down 27-3 early into the second half. 

It wasn't to be, however, and as soon as the game finished whispers began to emerge that this might finally be it for the NFL's most iconic player. 

Brady's comments afterwards about wanting to spend more time with his family came in contrast to earlier statements several months ago about wanting to play until he was 50, or another six season in one of the world's most attritional sports.

His 22nd and potentially final NFL season ultimately saw him throw for 5,316 yards, along with 43 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions as his Tampa Bay side went 13-4 in the regular season before being ousted in the playoffs. 

Before Brady's two seasons in Florida, the Buccaneers had made the playoffs just twice since 2003. 

The player who was famously picked 199th in the 2000 NFL Draft went on to have the most spectacular career of any player to have picked up a football. In addition to his seven Super Bowls, he is also a three-time league MVP and has made the Pro Bowl on 15 occasions - more than any other player in the sport's history. 

To date, he thrown for 84,520 yards and 624 touchdowns across his 22 seasons. 

Brady is a cast-iron future Hall of Famer, and if he opts out all eyes will now be on his next move - which would almost certainly see US television networks falling over themselves to strike a deal with the famously savvy veteran. 

But whatever happens next, the NFL has been forever changed - and the bar forever raised - by his influence on the sport.