Tom Brady Reportedly Retiring After 22 Seasons in NFL, Seven Super Bowl Championships

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Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images Tom Brady

Is Tom Brady getting ready for his next chapter?

After brushing off speculation and questioning about the end of his career just this past week, Brady is reportedly retiring at age 44, multiple outlets said on Saturday. The Boston Globe said a league source confirmed the news, while ESPN cited sources. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport also reported that Brady was retiring. Brady has not yet made an official statement.

A source told PEOPLE that Brady’s decision to retire was “very up in the air just a few days ago.”

Later on Saturday, The Athletic’s Greg Auman and Bally Sports’ Michael Silver both reported that Brady had told Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht that afternoon that he hadn’t yet made a decision.

Brady was selected by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. While he initially played back-up to starting quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, Brady took over the job when Bledsoe went down with an injury in the second game of the 2002 season.

He then led the Patriots to a Super Bowl berth against the then-St. Louis Rams, resulting in the first of his championship victories with the franchise. He’d go on to win five more Super Bowls with the team, before shocking fans in 2020 with his announcement that he’d join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a one-season contract.

He won his seventh Super Bowl ring with the Florida team in 2020, and was named Super Bowl MVP for the fifth time. With the victory, he became the oldest player to be named Super Bowl MVP and win a Super Bowl as the starting quarterback, at age 43.

RELATED: Tom Brady Feels ‘Gratitude’ Despite Season-Ending Playoff Loss and Retirement Talk

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to pass during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to pass during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to pass during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Tom Brady

He signed an additional contract with the Buccaneers through 2023, but the team’s 2021-2022 journey ended during the divisional playoffs.

Brady is also a three-time NFL MVP, 15-time Pro Bowl selection, and was named to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time team in 2019. He has the most career quarterback regular-season wins, among numerous other accolades.

The athlete constantly dodged retirement speculation for the latter half of his career, and his reported retirement falls just shy of the age he once projected he’d play until: 45.

Still, he knew his time was coming: Brady opened up in a July 2021 interview about the “sacrifice” his wife Gisele Bündchen, their children Benjamin, 12, and Vivian, 8, and his son John “Jack” Edward, 14, who he shares with ex Bridget Moynahan, have made for his career. “Things change as you get older and there’s a lot of different responsibilities I have in my life,” he said at the time.

RELATED: Tom Brady Addresses His Future in NFL Following Playoffs Loss: ‘We’ll Just Take It Day By Day’

Lately, in the wake of the Buccaneers’ failed Super Bowl journey, he’d played coy when asked about the end of his career. He told reporters on Jan. 24, “I haven’t put a lot of thought into it. So, we’ll just take it day by day and kind of see where we’re at.”

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