This fall will mark the first time in more than two decades that Tom Brady will not be playing NFL football.
Brady reaffirmed his commitment to retirement during an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Robin Lundberg on Thursday, and the seven-time Super Bowl champion further described his thoughts heading into the new season in a subsequent interview with ESPN.
“Relieved,” Brady told ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap when asked about how he’d feel as he watches the new NFL season instead of playing. “I won’t have Aaron Donald trying to chase me down and knock me out. I won’t have these guys that would have gotten paid a lot of money to hit me and knock me on the ground.
“I do have a record for being sacked more than any other quarterback in NFL history which, maybe somebody will break that record someday, but I’ve got a lot of bumps and bruises to show for 23 great seasons. But, you know, I certainly won’t miss that. But that’s OK. I’ve had an amazing experience, and it’s time. …
“The game’s in great hands. … It’s time for other guys to do it. And you know, I saw Peyton [Manning] retire. I saw all these guys that I looked up to … Brett Favre retire … and now I’m just a retired NFL player who is looking forward to watching these young guys continue to be great representatives of their teams, their communities and of their families as they move forward in their career.”
Tom Brady expects to feel “relieved” that he’s not playing when the NFL season kicks off pic.twitter.com/EXGFUdBy0n— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) June 1, 2023
Brady’s comments to Sports Illustrated and ESPN come on the heels of rampant speculation regarding whether or not the 15-time Pro Bowler would unretire for a second time. Brady briefly walked away from the game last offseason before announcing his return to play one last season with the Buccaneers, and speculation grew after his latest retirement announcement.
Brady has been linked to the Dolphins, as well as the Raiders, with whom he has entered into an agreement to become a minority owner alongside Mark Davis. That agreement has been finalized between Brady and Davis and is awaiting NFL approval.