“Thank you Patriots Nation,” the quarterback, 44, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, February 1, hours after sharing plans to step away from the sport. “[I’m] beyond grateful and love you all.” Alongside the post, Brady shared a statement from Patriots owner Robert Kraft who celebrated the 20 years that the player spent with the franchise.
“Words cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady, nor adequately express the gratitude my family, the New England Patriots and our fans have for Tom for all he did during his career,” Kraft, 80, wrote in the statement. “You didn’t have to be a Patriots fan to respect and appreciate his competitiveness, determination and will to win that fueled his success. As a fan of football, it was a privilege to watch. As a Patriots fan, it was a dream come true.”
He concluded: “I have the greatest respect for Tom personally and always will. … I will always feel a close bond to him and will always consider him an extension of my immediate family.”
After sparking retirement speculation, Brady confirmed that he had decided to hang up his cleats after 22 years in the NFL via a lengthy statement on Twitter. “This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes, I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore,” the athlete wrote. “I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”
He went on to thank his teammates on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who he played with from 2020 through January 2022. “I love you guys, and I have loved going to battle with you. … I couldn’t be happier with what we accomplished together.”
The TB12 cofounder concluded his statement by thanking his wife, Gisele Bündchen, and his children Jack, 14, Benjamin, 12, and Vivian, 9. “Our family is my greatest achievement,” Brady wrote. “I always came off the field and home to the most loving and supportive wife who has done EVERYTHING for our family to allow me to focus on my career. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally, and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family.”
One day before his retirement announcement, the NFL champion explained that Bündchen, 41, and their family was the biggest factor in his decision to leave football behind. “She deserves [to get] what she needs from me as a husband and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad,” Brady said during an episode of his SiriusXM podcast “Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray.”
He continued: “I said this a few years ago, [but that’s] what relationships are all about. It’s not always what I want. It’s what we want as a family. And I’m gonna spend a lot of time with them and figure out … what’s next.”