So Is Tom Brady Actually Retiring or Not?

Conflicting reports emerged on his NFL future

Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Tom Brady warms up before the NFC Divisional game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Over the course of his 22 years in the NFL, Tom Brady has set a copious number of records and has established a new benchmark for fitness and longevity, sustaining a career at the top of the game for an amount of time many believed impossible.

That long career may have reached its end, however. On Saturday afternoon, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter tweeted out the news that “multiple sources” had informed him that Brady would be retiring from the game.

The full report, from Schefter and Jeff Darlington, offers some insights into what informed Brady’s decision — something that had been speculated about in the wake of Tampa Bay’s loss to the Rams. ESPN’s sources cited “family and health” as the primary reasons Brady plans to retire.

Brady’s career achievements include 7 Vince Lombardi Trophies as well as the NFL record for passing touchdowns (624). He is also one of a handful of quarterbacks to defeat every NFL team.

As for when we might hear a formal announcement of Brady’s retirement, that remains to be seen. Schefter and Darlington wrote that “it will be made with consideration to not upstage the NFL’s postseason games or Super Bowl.” Could things change between now and then? It won’t be the first time Tom Brady has kept us in suspense.

UPDATE: After our initial report, more details on Brady’s status emerged — none of which offers a clear answer on what Brady will be up to next season. According to a report from The Athletic, Brady hasn’t decided whether or not he will retire and hasn’t told the Buccaneers his plans. And the Bay Area news station KRON4 reported that Brady’s father has said that Brady is not retiring.

Don Yee, Brady’s agent, released a statement regarding his client’s career that clarified little. “I understand the speculation about Tom’s future. 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,” Yee wrote.

It could be said that Brady is, at present, simultaneously retiring and not retiring — a kind of Schrödinger’s Tom Brady, if you will. If anything, these conflicting reports only heighten the anticipation for Brady to announce … well, whatever it is he plans to announce.

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