It’s official this time. No, really, he’s done.
After a few days of will-he-or-will-not-speculation, Tom Brady announced his retirement Tuesday morning. In a statement from his verified Instagram account, the future Hall of Famer said he had loved his 22-year NFL career, but he is ready to “focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”
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“I’ve reflected a lot over the last week and asked myself tough questions. And I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved,” Brady said. “My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now it’s best I leave the track to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”
Unfortunately for Brady, his career did not end with a Super Bowl celebration. (He will have to settle for seven rings instead of eight. So disappointing!) The Buccaneers fell 30-27 to the final NFC champion Rams in the division round, but Brady still managed to give football fans one last glimpse of GOD.
Tom Brady’s last touchdown
With Tampa Bay trailing 27-3 in the second half, Brady and the Bucs started their comeback. After a Ryan Succop field goal and a Leonard Fournette touchdown run in the third quarter cut the deficit to 14, Brady found Mike Evans stroking down the sideline for a 55-yard bomb late in the fourth quarter. The deep ball ended up being Brady’s only touchdown in the game – and the end result of his illustrious career.
The FINAL touchdown pass in Tom Brady’s career. #NFL
– Super Bowl LVI on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 29, 2022
Tom Brady’s last episode
The Buccaneers’ defense forced a fumble on the ensuing drive, giving Tampa Bay a great field position. After the Bucs entered the red zone, Brady missed on first- and second-down passes to Evans. On the third down, he found tight-end Cameron Brate down the middle of the field for a nine-yard win. It was an appropriate last pass for Brady, the kind of throw he had used to dissect defense so many times over the last two decades.
Tom Brady’s last pass is to Cameron brate pic.twitter.com/L8Dae9jNtp
– (@ ryanmcloof7) January 29, 2022
Tom Brady’s last game
On the fourth-and-1, Brady passed to Fournette, who avoided a tackle, jumped outside and ran into the goal zone with just 42 seconds left of regulation. It looked like the game was heading for overtime and the Bucs had all the momentum on their side.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!!
– Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) January 23, 2022
But the excitement inside Raymond James Stadium did not last long. On the game’s final drive, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford found Cooper Kupp for 20-yard and 44-yard passes to put Matt Gay up for the battle-winning field goal.
It was only fitting that Brady was eliminated by another QB who made his best Brady impression.