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Tom Brady officially announces retirement from NFL

It's now set in stone that the NFL superstar is hanging up his helmet and shoulder pads, and putting down the pigskin for good.

TAMPA, Fla. — Well, it's official — Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL.

Brady announced his retirement Tuesday in a statement on Instagram after news broke Saturday of his possible exit from the football world forever.

"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, and success is what I love so much about our game," he wrote. "This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore."

"My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes," Brady continued.

He went on to thank his Bucs teammates, adding that he wants to continue to see them push themselves to be their best. 

Brady gave a special shoutout to the Bucs fans and the entire Tampa-St. Petersburg region before thanking his supporters, coaches and family.

As for his future, Brady says it will be a "work-in-progress" but that he will continue to work with his companies BRADY, TB12, and Autograph.

"I feel like the luckiest person in the world."

"What a ride my love!" Gisele Bündchen said in a heartfelt congratulations to her husband on his 22-season career.

"I'm so proud of you, and of everything you have had to overcome physically and emotionally over the years. I am in awe of your dedication, and of everything you have achieved. You love what you do and you leave behind a legacy that is a beautiful example for future generations."

It was initially announced Saturday that the 44-year-old football star could soon be saying farewell to the NFL, however, Brady told the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he hadn’t made up his mind yet, two people familiar with the details told The Associated Press at the time.

After 22 seasons, seven Super Bowl titles and five Super Bowl MVPs, the so-called G.O.A.T. of football is likely destined for the Hall of Fame.

Brady led the NFL in yards passing (5,316), touchdowns (43), completions (485) and attempts (719), but the Buccaneers lost at home to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday in the divisional round.

Brady won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots in 20 seasons playing for coach Bill Belichick. He joined the Buccaneers in 2020 and led them to the second Super Bowl title in franchise history.

“Tom arrived in Tampa Bay with an unprecedented level of expectations and delivered some of the most memorable moments in our franchise history,” the Glazer Family, which owns the Bucs, wrote in a statement. “His impact on our team and community was immediate and profound."

The family said while Brady's NFL journey was ending, they would continue to celebrate his legendary career and be grateful for his time in Tampa.

"Saying goodbye to a legend is never easy, but we wish him continued success in retirement," the family said.

Those sentiments were echoed by Bucs GM Jason Licht, who said Brady set a standard of accountability and had work that resonated in the locker room.

"It is hard to put into words what Tom has meant to me and the entire Buccaneers organization," Licht said. "I have had the distinct pleasure of being with Tom at both the beginning and end of his incredible NFL career."

Bucs Head Coach Bruce Arians said it is clear Brady is "the greatest football player of all time."

"He set a standard and helped create a culture that took our team to the mountaintop," Arians wrote. "It has been an honor to be his head coach for the past two seasons. I wish it didn’t have to end, but few players have the opportunity to leave the game on their own terms. Even fewer can do it while playing at an elite level. Tom is the exception."

Brady leaves the sport as the career leader in yards passing (84,520) and TDs (624). He’s the only player to win more than five Super Bowls and was MVP of the game five times.

Widely considered the greatest quarterback to play the game, Brady won three NFL MVP awards, was a first-team All-Pro three times and was selected to the Pro Bowl 15 times. He was 243-73 in his career in the regular season and 35-12 in the playoffs.

In the 20 seasons he finished as starter, Brady reached the playoffs 19 times, won 18 division titles, went 10-4 in conference championships and 7-3 in Super Bowls. He played in the conference championship eight times in his last 10 years.

Since starting his first game on Sept. 30, 2001, Brady was under center for every game except when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1 in 2008 and the first four games in 2016 when he sat out a suspension because of the deflated footballs scandal.

After leaving New England, the stoic Belichick and Patriot Way, Brady’s personality shined in the Florida sun. He was personable, engaging and entertaining, and he displayed his wit on social media while promoting his brands.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in a statement, said that Brady would be remembered as one of the greatest athletes ever to play in the league. The commissioner described him as an incredible leader and competitor. 

"Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments," Goodell wrote. "His record five Super Bowl MVP awards and seven Super Bowl championships set a standard that players will chase for years."

Goodell said Brady inspired fans around the world and wished him and his family the best.

Thank you to the G.O.A.T for making "Champa Bay" his home.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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