Update: Maybe Tom Brady will play till he's 50 after all. After reports Saturday not just from news and sports outlets but from the NFL and Brady's company, TB12 Sports, that the 44-year-old quarterback had decided to retire, Brady contradicted everyone. His coach, Bruce Arians, told a Tampa Bay Times reporter that Brady hasn't informed the Buccaneers that he's quitting. Arians said Brady's agent told the Bucs on Saturday that the star hasn't made up his mind yet. Tom Brady Sr. also told several people that his son is undecided. And TB12 Sports deleted its congratulatory tweet. "Tom will be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy," the agent, Don Yee, said in a statement. Our original story from earlier today follows:
After winning a record seven Super Bowl titles in 22 seasons—and making a case for being the greatest player in NFL history—Tom Brady is retiring. Family and health were among the considerations for the 44-year-old Tampa Bay quarterback in making the decision, ESPN reports. He has not yet made an announcement, which would have to be worked around the league's playoff games. Brady's final game was Sunday, when the Buccaneers lost a playoff matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.
Brady leaves with a list of NFL records, including 624 touchdown passes and 84,250 passing yards. In 318 games, he threw just 203 interceptions, per Sports Illustrated. He played 20 seasons for the powerhouse New England Patriots before spending the last two in Tampa Bay. But his final stop was successful, too: He won his seventh Super Bowl and fifth league most valuable player award there. Brady was just in his second season with the Patriots when they won their first Super Bowl, per CBS Sports. They could be dominant even when they didn't win a championship; the Patriots were 16-0 in 2007 before losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.
In addition to the records, Brady's longevity and performances in the biggest games stand out, per NBC. His routine included early-morning workouts, no eating late at night, and plenty of sleep, all in service of success on the football field. He spoke against some foods and companies—Coca-Cola and Frosted Flakes, for instance—laying his thinking out in books about diet and exercise. Donté Stallworth, a teammate with the Patriots, said Saturday that the quarterback "literally breathed football," per CNN. But Brady had said his decision to retire would be based on the needs of his wife, Gisele Bündchen, and children. "It's not always what I want," he said. "It's what we want as a family." (Read more Tom Brady stories.)