Timing, as is often said, is everything.
With Tom Brady announcing his retirement for a second time one year to the day after he quit football for the first time before returning just 40 days later, it only seems fair to question the timing of the 45-year-old dropping the news.
While it is easy enough to believe that Brady opted to announce his second retirement now because his mind is finally made up, it’s also fairly easy to believe that the announcement was a timely way to drum up interest for the release of his production company’s debut film 80 for Brady this weekend.
Just like everything he did on the field, Brady is calculated with what he says and does and has not been shy about using himself to market himself. (The retirement video itself appears to have been pre-recorded and was released the morning after Brady walked the red carpet in Los Angeles with his co-stars Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Rita Moreno and Lily Tomlin.)
Whether Brady sticks to it or not, this is his retirement video.
“Good morning, guys, I’ll get to the point right away: I’m retiring for good,” Brady said. “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. So I won’t be long-winded. I think you only get one super emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year. So, 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 letting me live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you all.”
Given the timing of the announcement, Brady should now theoretically be able to start fulfilling the $375 million contract he signed with Fox during the offseason as soon as next weekend. It seems unlikely Brady will be able to slide into the broadcast booth and replace Greg Olsen in time for the kickoff of the Super Bowl, but there’s certainly a chance the seven-time Super Bowl winner could appear on the broadcast in some capacity and get his feet wet as a color analyst. Of course, there’s also a chance he never calls a game at all and instead keeps putting out, and marketing, gems like 80 for Brady. (Which is rumored to contain an un-retirement Easter egg…)
Whatever Brady does or doesn’t do in the future, he finishes with more Super Bowl victories (seven) than any of the NFL’s 32 franchises and hangs up his cleats as NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns and wins if his 23-season career is indeed over. Even if it isn’t and he returns from his second retirement to play again the same way that fellow GOAT Michael Jordan did, don’t expect to see him back in Tampa Bay ever again.