After the quarterback, 45, confirmed his exit from the NFL, his former team retweeted their own message from his February 2022 retirement, adding the comment: “Quite the ride indeed. Thank you again, @TomBrady.”
While the message was sincere, some fans wondered whether the quote tweet wasn’t also a little shady. “They had to re-quote 💀,” quipped one observer. Benjamin Hoffman, a sports editor for The New York Times, added in a tweet: “The Patriots recycling their Tom Brady tribute is just spectacular.”
The seven-time Super Bowl champion played for the Patriots for 20 seasons from 2000 to 2019. Many fans believed he would retire after leaving the team, but instead he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After leading the team to a Super Bowl win in February 2021, Brady announced his retirement from the NFL one year later. In March 2022, however, he reversed his decision and announced he would continue playing with the Buccaneers.
The University of Michigan alum seemingly retired for good on Wednesday, announcing the news in a low-key video shared via social media. “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,” he told fans and followers. “I won’t be long-winded. You only get one super emotional retirement essay and I used mine up last year.”
While Brady played his final season with the Buccaneers, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said on Thursday, February 2, that he’s open to signing the athlete to a one-day contract so he can retire with the team he played with for 20 seasons.
“I’d do it tomorrow,” the businessman, 81, said during an interview with CNN. “Not only do I want it, our fans are clamoring for it, and to us, he always has been and always will be a Patriot. … We’ll do everything we can in our power to bring him back, sign off as a Patriot and find ways to honor him for many years to come. He did so much to bring life and good cheer to our community and he’s a beloved figure and he’s earned the respect and love that people feel for him like no other athlete in our town, and we’ve had some great ones.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick also gushed over the five-time Super Bowl MVP in a statement shared shortly after Brady’s announcement.
“Tom Brady was the ultimate winner,” the Tennessee native, 70, said on Wednesday. “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.”