Why Tom Brady Will Never Come Out of Retirement From Football Again

Tom Brady is retired from the NFL, and make no mistake: it's for good this time. Brady announced his first retirement in February 2022 before he changed his mind and returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his 23rd and final season a month later. The famed quarterback then broke the news that he was retiring once and for all in an Instagram video shared on Feb. 1 — one year after his first announcement. "I'm retiring. For good," Brady said at the start of his video. "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 continued, "It won't be long-winded, you only get one super-emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year. I really thank you guys so much, to every single one of you, for supporting me, my family, my friends, teammates, my competitors. I could go on forever. There's too many. Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream." An emotional Brady added, "I wouldn't change a thing. Love you all."

Shortly after he made the Instagram post, his ex-wife, Gisele Bündchen, shared her support for his next moves in a comment. "Wishing you only wonderful things in this new chapter of your life," she wrote. Bündchen and Brady were married for 13 years, but they divorced in 2022, and since then, Brady has appeared to be focusing much of his energy on his three children: Jack, Benjamin, and Vivian.

Brady restated his commitment to a life beyond playing football on the Oct. 9 episode of his Let's Go!" podcast — and the decision has a lot to do with his family. "I am not coming out of retirement," the former quarterback said confidently. "My parents would call, my kids would call. They'd kill me. I wouldn't be around by tonight." Brady also acknowledged his first retirement, adding, "You're only allowed one unretirement. And I've used it up."

When Brady announced his decision to retire the first time on Feb. 1, 2022, during an episode of "Let's Go!," he shared, "I'm just gonna take things as they come. I think that's the best way to put it, and I don't think anything, you know, you never say never," he said at the time. "And, again, I think it's not looking to reverse course; I'm definitely not looking to do that. But in the same time, I think you have to be realistic that you never know what challenges there are gonna be in life," he continued. "Again, I loved playing. I'm looking forward to doing things other than playing."

Brady reiterated the news in an Instagram post. "I have always believed the sport of football is an 'all-in' proposition -- if a 100% competitive commitment isn't there, you won't succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game," he wrote. "There is a physical, mental and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life."

He continued: "This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention. I've done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes."

A little over a month after he made the announcement, however, Brady returned to the Buccaneers. At the time, he confirmed the news via his Twitter account. "These past two months I've realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it's not now," he wrote. "I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I'm coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG."

Brady has had one of the most storied careers in American football. In addition to playing in 23 seasons, he also has seven Super Bowl victories to his name. The 45-year-old quarterback, who is one of the most decorated football players of all time, kicked off his athletic career in 2000 when he was drafted by the New England Patriots. He led the team to a whopping six Super Bowl wins before announcing in 2020 that he'd be leaving the Patriots to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a one-season contract. Brady's seventh and final Super Bowl win in 2021 also marked his fifth time being named Super Bowl MVP.

The father of three hinted at retirement last summer in an interview with People. "Things change as you get older and there's a lot of different responsibilities I have in my life," he told the outlet at the time. "My kids and my family is certainly very important and they made a lot of sacrifice over a long period of time to watch me play. So, you know, I owe it to them, too."

Hear Brady's latest announcement ahead.