Rumors are swirling that Tom Brady, the legendary NFL quarterback and seven-time Super Bowl champion, will be retiring after 22 seasons. But his agent, Don Yee, refused to confirm the retirement news.

“I understand the advance speculation about Tom’s future,” the agent wrote in a statement. “Without getting into the accuracy or inaccuracy of what’s being reported, Tom will be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy. He knows the realities of the football business and planning calendar as well as anybody, so that should be soon.”

Citing sources close to the matter, ESPN reported midday Saturday that Brady will not return to the field for the 2022 season. 

The quarterback has yet to officially confirm his retirement, however, and hours after the initial story was published, several outlets reported that Brady phoned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers front office to clarify that he hasn’t yet made a decision. 

Nevertheless, speculation about Brady’s potential retirement is running rampant after the Bucs narrowly lost to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday, 27-30, to end the season. 

Why is Tom Brady Considering Retirement?

According to the ESPN report, the quarterback has been mulling a possible exit from the League since his postseason bid ended last week. 

But on Saturday, sources told the outlet he had made his final decision to call it quits, citing “several factors, including family and health.” 

At 44 years old, Brady is no spring chicken compared to his NFL colleagues. He was not only the oldest player on any roster in the 2021 season — if Brady returned in the fall at 45, he’d be the second-oldest quarterback in the history of professional football (behind George Blanda, who retired in 1976 at the ripe old age of 48.)

The sources also said the Tampa Bay roster is “likely to undergo significant … turnover” ahead of the 2022 season, which apparently contributed to Brady’s choice to leave. 

If he isn't retiring, Tom Brady will be the second-oldest QB in NFL history in 2022.
If he isn’t retiring, Tom Brady will be the second-oldest QB in NFL history in 2022. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Is Tom Brady Really Retiring?

ESPN didn’t identify its sources, and the report has received some pushback from veteran sportswriters in Tampa Bay and Boston, where Brady spent his 22-year-long career. 

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported on Twitter that Brady called Bucs General Manager Jason Licht Saturday to say that he had not made a decision either way. Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston also reported that the quarterback was still considering his next move, and that he’s currently abroad on vacation. 

Is Tom Brady actually retiring. Reports were contradictory on Saturday.
Is Tom Brady actually retiring? Reports were contradictory on Saturday. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Brady’s true intentions remain opaque. His agent Don Yee went on record with ESPN but declined to weigh in on any potential retirement. 

Initially, the League took the ESPN report at face value, posting on its official Twitter and YouTube accounts that Brady is retiring.

Without official confirmation from the man himself, Brady’s future is unclear. Even if he does retire, many have noted he’s unlikely to make an announcement until after this year’s Super Bowl so as not to upstage remaining postseason contenders. 

Saying Goodbye to the GOAT

With 10 Super Bowl appearances, seven championship rings, and more career passing yards than any player in recorded football history, Brady is widely considered the greatest quarterback in the history of the sport. 

He began his professional career in 2000 after graduating from the University of Michigan, but talent scouts of the time didn’t see his potential for greatness — Brady was drafted in the 199th round of that year’s draft by the New England Patriots, the team where he spent the majority of his career and with which he is most closely associated. 

Tom Brady may or may not be retiring, but in his 22 seasons to date he's earned a reputation as the greatest quarterback of all time.
Tom Brady may or may not be retiring, but in his 22 seasons to date he’s earned a reputation as the greatest quarterback of all time. Photo credit: Shutterstock