Tom Brady has finally called it a career after 22 seasons in the NFL. Some fans are rejoining the news, having waited two decades for his reign to come to an end, but others are taking a step back to try and truly comprehend how amazing his career was and how lucky we all were to have witnessed it.

Fans and players from around the NFL took to Twitter to go through all of the emotions of Brady’s retirement. There was joy, trolling, laughing, crying, rejoicing, and reminiscing. Love him or hate him, Tom Brady’s career is unlike anything we’ve seen before and will stand in exclusive company as one of the most iconic sports careers in history.

Bucs players weren’t the only ones paying tribute to Brady and his career. Players around the league, from J.J. Watt — who also recently retired — to Patrick Mahomes were giving Brady his flowers after his announcement made the rounds.

The question now is whether or not Brady will stay retired this time around. We did this whole song and dance last offseason, when he essentially unretired to own Adam Schefter for stepping on his initial announcement.

This time things seem to be a little more official. Brady walks away from the game as one of the most decorated players in history, and as perhaps the greatest player to have ever played the game. His three MVPs, five Super Bowl MVPs, and seven Super Bowl rings are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all that he accomplished in his career.

Love him or hate him, Tome Brady has been synonymous with the NFL for the last two decades. It’s a little wild that we’re going to be living in a world where Brady is no longer playing professional football — a world that we haven’t lived in since 2000 — and it’s clear he’s left an indelible mark on the game and its fans.

Watch: Tom Brady officially retires from NFL, posts heartfelt message to fans (Video)

Tom Brady’s Hall of Fame career has finally come to an end — for real this time.

After the weird retirement cycle that he went through last year, one that didn’t seem like a fitting end for a player like Brady, he has taken matters into his own hands this offseason. With speculation running rampant about a return for one more season, Brady set the record straight by posting a simple message on his social media accounts that announced he was hanging it up for good.

Brady posted a video on Wednesday morning making the announcement that he would be walking away from football.

Tom Brady’s Hall of Fame career has finally come to an end — for real this time.

After the weird retirement cycle that he went through last year, one that didn’t seem like a fitting end for a player like Brady, he has taken matters into his own hands this offseason. With speculation running rampant about a return for one more season, Brady set the record straight by posting a simple message on his social media accounts that announced he was hanging it up for good.

Brady posted a video on Wednesday morning making the announcement that he would be walking away from football.

The next question is obvious: Is Tom Brady really retiring from the NFL?

We did this song and dance last year when Brady retired, but he went back on that a month later when he announced he would be returning for one more season. At the time it was believed that Brady was motivated to come back so he could retire the way he wanted to, and not be beaten to his own punch by Adam Schefter — which is what caused the whole circus in the first place.

Schefter announced Brady’s retirement before the man himself could, which not only seemed to be a motivating factor for Brady to return but put a sour note on the whole event.

In the days leading up to Brady unretiring, Mike Florio from PFT noted that the retirement was from the Buccaneers and not the NFL. That came on the heels of reports that Brady wanted to team up with Sean Payton in Miami and finish his career with the Dolphins.

That didn’t happen, and while his final season with the Buccaneers didn’t go the way anyone thought it would, Brady’s retirement seems to be official this time.

Updated NFL Draft Order after Sean Payton traded to Broncos

It turns out Tom Brady isn’t the only one making noise in the NFC South this offseason. While rumors about his future remain up in the air, the same can’t be said about former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.

Emphasis on former head coach.

After a month of speculation, Payton finally found a landing spot. The Denver Broncos traded two draft picks to the Saints in exchange for the right to hire Payton to be the team’s next head coach. It was a hefty deal, as Denver sent a first round pick in this year’s draft as well as a pick in next year’s draft to New Orleans as part of the deal.

Unfortunately for Bucs fans, that means they have to watch the Saints recoup some of its losses. New Orleans was without a first round pick this year after sending it to Philadelphia last offseason.

Updated NFL Draft Order after Broncos and Saints agree to Sean Payton trade

Here’s a look at what the first round looks like after the Broncos acquired Sean Payton from the Saints:

Denver went from having no first round picks, to getting one from the Dolphins in the Bradley Chubb trade earlier this year, back to having no picks after the Sean Payton deal.

New Orleans essentially gets its first round pick back, albeit on the flip side of the draft order. The Saints sent their original pick to the Eagles last year as part of a draft night trade that helped them land Chris Olave. What the Saints didn’t account for was being one of the worst teams in the league and owning a Top 10 pick this year — which is what happened and why the potential Super Bowl winning team might have a top selection.

Tom Brady says he is retiring from football ‘for good’

Tom Brady says he is retiring “for good” from football, ending a storied 23-year NFL career during which the star quarterback won seven Super Bowls and set numerous records.

Brady announced his decision Wednesday on social media, saying he “wouldn’t change a thing” about his career.

Brady, 45, also announced he was retiring on Feb. 1, 2022, before changing his mind 40 days later and returning to play this past season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning, I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first,” Brady said in a video on Twitter. “I won’t be long-winded. You only get one super emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year, so really thank you guys so much to every single one of you for supporting me.”

Brady informed the Buccaneers of his decision at 6 a.m. ET Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. The Buccaneers tweeted their appreciation to Brady later Wednesday, along with a #ThankYouTom caption.

The Glazer family, which owns the Buccaneers, said in a statement that Brady “set an exceptional standard that elevated our entire organization to new heights and created some of the most iconic moments in our history.

“Tom’s impact will be felt within our community for many years to come and we will forever be grateful for those unforgettable memories that he provided during these final seasons of his legendary career,” the Glazer family said.

Brady, who won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and one with the Buccaneers, ends his career as the NFL’s leader in career passing yards (89,214) and touchdown passes (649). The three-time league MVP passed for 4,694 yards — third most in the NFL — and 25 touchdowns this past season, his third with Tampa Bay.

“I don’t ever believe in the 100-year-old history of the NFL there’s been a quarterback of Tom’s ilk,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft told ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Wednesday. “I don’t know, but I would have trouble ever believing there would be another one.”

Brady is the only player to win more than five Super Bowls and has been named Super Bowl MVP five times.

“My family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors — I could go on forever, there’s too many,” Brady said in the video. “Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you all.”

Brady can immediately begin working as an analyst for Fox Sports, which signed him to a 10-year, $375 million contract this past summer. He also launched a Brady brand clothing line one year ago, has a successful health and wellness brand called TB12 Sports and founded his own production company, 199 Productions.

Brady and supermodel Gisele Bundchen finalized their divorce this past fall, during the Bucs’ season. It ended a 13-year marriage between two superstars who respectively reached the pinnacles of football and fashion.

Famously underrated coming into the NFL — he was picked 199th in the 2000 draft by the Patriots, behind six other quarterbacks, three kickers and a punter — Brady played in one game as a rookie, completing one of three passes for 6 yards.

The next year, it all changed.

Brady took over as the starter, the Patriots beat the Rams in the Super Bowl that capped the 2001 season, and he and New England coach Bill Belichick were well on their way to becoming the most successful quarterback-coach duo in football history.

“Tom Brady was the ultimate winner,” Belichick said in a statement. “He entered the NFL with little to no fanfare and leaves as the most successful player in league history. His relentless pursuit of excellence drove him on a daily basis. His work ethic and desire to win were both motivational and inspirational to teammates and coaches alike. Tom was a true professional who carried himself with class and integrity throughout his career. I thank Tom for the positive impact he had on me and on the Patriots and congratulate him on his amazing career.”

Brady also holds all-time NFL records for regular-season wins (251), Super Bowl appearances (10), playoff games and wins (48, 35), as well as playoff yards (13,400) and TDs (88).

“You think about it — for all the young people out there who dream big dreams — things didn’t go his way at Michigan,” Kraft told Reiss. “He should have been the starter, but thank goodness he wasn’t, because that allowed us to get him late in the sixth round. He defied the odds. I think having that chip on his shoulder … truly one of a kind.”

More Super Bowl wins came after the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The Patriots returned to football’s mountaintop for a fourth time in Brady’s era a decade later to cap the 2014 season, the start of three more titles in a span of five years.

“I have a flashback,” Kraft told Reiss. “I think of him walking down the steps at the old Foxboro Stadium, looking like a skinny beanpole with a pizza under his arm — it’s late at night. He walks over to me and says, ‘Hi Mr. Kraft, I’m Tom Brady, your sixth-round draft pick.’ I said, ‘I know who you are.’ He looked me right in the eye and said, ‘And I’m the best decision your football team has ever made.’ You know, he was right.”

In 2020, Brady joined the Buccaneers and won his seventh Super Bowl. He spent his past three years with Tampa Bay, getting the Buccaneers to the playoffs in each of those seasons.

Former Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians told ESPN’s Jenna Laine that his fondest memory with Brady was “holding that Lombardi with him.”

“His imprint on this organization helped take us to the mountaintop,” Bucs GM Jason Licht said in a statement. “We will certainly miss him as our quarterback, but I will also miss him as a leader and friend. Our entire organization is indebted to him for what he provided us over the past three years. We won’t ever forget the wins or the accolades and his influence will be felt for years to come.”

ESPN’s Jenna Laine and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tom Brady Got Old
The N.F.L.’s greatest quarterback seemed ageless right up until his first retirement. Then he came back. And now he is retiring again, presumably for good.

When Tom Brady retired, for the second time, on Wednesday morning, he kept things simple. There were no leaks to Adam Schefter about a possible announcement. There was no carefully crafted letter to fans. There was, for reasons that seemed obvious, no reference to wanting to devote more time to his family; as much of the world knows, Brady and the supermodel Gisele Bündchen divorced last fall, and many fans speculated that his decision to come out of retirement had something to do with the split. There was a degree of shock when Brady first retired, even though he was, back then, forty-four years old and the holder of nearly every record that matters, a man who had nothing to prove. This time, there was no shock. There was just a somewhat sheepish-looking Brady, standing before some blowing beach grass and a nondescript block of buildings, under a cloudy sky, saying that he “wouldn’t have changed a thing.”

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr., retired on February 1, 2022. He retired again on February 1, 2023. In the interim, his name was caught up in a tampering investigation; his marriage came to a very public end; video of him yelling at his terrible offensive line went viral. Video of him breaking a tablet on the sideline in frustration also went viral. And there were stories of him breaking another one. His team lost more games than it won.

Along the way, he also threw two touchdown passes in three minutes to beat the New Orleans Saints, 17–16, in a Monday Night Football game in early December, thus leading the Bucs in one of the most improbable fourth-quarter comebacks in N.F.L. history. He threw for four thousand six hundred and ninety-four yards, the third most of any quarterback in the league. He finishes his career with eighty-nine thousand two hundred and fourteen passing yards in total, quite possibly the gaudiest record in sports. Despite his team’s losing record, Brady made the playoffs once again, as he has in all but one season as a starter. (The lone exception was 2002. There are N.F.L. players today who turned a year old in 2002.) He smiled a few times.

In the last football game that he played, a 31–14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, he threw for three hundred and fifty-one yards—on an unfathomable sixty-six attempts. He also threw an interception on the Cowboys’ five-yard line in the second quarter—an odd, wobbly little lob to a defender in the back of the end zone. The Bucs were down 24–0 at the half. On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys’ quarterback, Dak Prescott, completed twenty-five of thirty-three passes.

Prescott is, and has been, part of a new wave of quarterbacks who are redefining how the game is played, after Brady defined it for two decades. That is the way that sports work, or should. The two quarterbacks who will face each other in the Super Bowl, Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts, are not made in Brady’s image. (For one thing, they can run.) The game evolves. It grows up. There is no shame in getting older.