Quarterback Tom Brady has announced his retirement “for good”, finally calling time on a historic NFL career with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In February last year, the seven-time Super Bowl champion, 45, had said he was finished playing – only to reverse that decision 40 days later.
Brady leaves with record totals of 89,214 yards and 649 touchdowns in the regular season and 13,400 yards and 88 touchdowns in the play-offs to go with seven Super Bowl titles, three league MVP awards and five Super Bowl MVPs.
He was named to 15 Pro Bowls, three first- and three second-team All-Pro selections, the league’s 100th anniversary all-time team and the all-decade teams for both the 2000s and 2010s.
Here, the PA news agency looks back over his remarkable career record.
New England Patriots
He led the team to six Super Bowl wins – an NFL record shared with the Pittsburgh Steelers – and was named MVP in four of them to pass the record of his boyhood idol Joe Montana.
In the 19 years between him taking the starting position in 2001 and leaving the team, the Patriots won the AFC East 17 times. As some American pundits have noted, that 89.5 per cent rate means they won their division more reliably than basketball great Michael Jordan successfully made free throws (83.5 per cent) – and one of their two misses came in 2008, when injury meant Brady started only one game.
He finished his Pats career with 74,571 regular-season passing yards and 541 touchdowns, with another 72 post-season passing scores. Tight end Rob Gronkowski was by far his most prolific target with 90 touchdowns across the regular season and play-offs, later adding 15 more in Tampa Bay. Julian Edelman had 41, Randy Moss 40 and Wes Welker 38.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After leaving Massachusetts, Brady headed south to Florida where he led the Bucs to only their second Super Bowl and first in 18 years.
It made him only the second player to win Super Bowls as a starting QB with two different teams, joining his long-time rival Peyton Manning, and meant he alone has won more titles than any NFL franchise, let alone any other player – though former Cleveland Browns quarterback Otto Graham won seven national titles before the Super Bowl era.
It also gave Brady more rings after turning 37 than before, four to three, as he became the oldest player ever to play in the big game.
Though the Bucs were unable to repeat in his final two seasons, Brady led the league for completions in 2021 (485) and 2022 (490) as he continued to defy his advancing age until the end.
In week three of the 2022 season, he passed the milestone of 85,000 career passing yards and then went on to reach a total of 100,000 in the match against the Los Angeles Rams.
Brady also also eclipsed Peyton Manning for the most all-time game-winning drives and broke his own NFL record for completions in a season, but the Buccaneers eventually lost out in the wild-card play-off round to the Dallas Cowboys.
In total, Brady threw touchdown passes to 98 different receivers in his career, adding the name of Kyle Rudolph in his final regular-season game. Mike Evans, with 36 touchdowns in three seasons including the play-offs, ranks highest among players who did not play with Brady in New England.