On Tuesday morning, the most decorated player in the history of the NFL confirmed that he’s bringing an end to his historic playing career. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady shared a lengthy written statement today on social media officially announcing his retirement.
After 22 seasons in the league, Brady has finally decided to call it quits on his astounding career at 44 years old. The seven-time Super Bowl winner’s legacy has indeed been cemented for years. His greatness is undeniable, and it has been for some time now. In fact, it’s far past the point of debate. It’s not about opinions and preferences anymore – Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. is the greatest NFL player of all time.
There are few athletes in any sport that evoke the drive and sheer determination to win like a Tom Brady. Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, and Tiger Woods come to mind, but Brady stands alone on the gridiron. Some fans and analysts value individual statistics when having the “greatest of all time” (GOAT) conversation. Others simply value a player’s championships the most while having that debate. In the case of Tom Brady, he sits atop both and it isn’t even close.
Brady has more wins (243), more touchdowns (624), and more passing yards (84,520) than any other NFL player ever. In addition, TB12 has more playoff wins (35), more playoff touchdowns (86), and more passing yards in the playoffs (13,049) than anyone else.
He holds numerous other NFL records as well, but arguably the most important record is his seven Super Bowl rings – two more than any other player and three more than the next best quarterbacks (Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana). As Tom Brady’s iconic career comes to a close, let’s take a look back at each of his seven championships.
Tom Brady’s 7 Rings From Super Bowl XXXVI to Super Bowl LV
Super Bowl XXXVI (2001)
The season that started it all. When the New England Patriots drafted Tom Brady in the 6th Round of the 2000 NFL Draft, franchise QB Drew Bledsoe was still leading the team. One year later in Week 2 of the regular season, Bledsoe got injured and a 24-year-old Brady would take over. Little did anyone know that a two-decades-long Patriots dynasty would be born that day. Brady stepped in and rattled off 11 wins that season to take the Pats to the playoffs. New England made an epic run to the Super Bowl narrowly beating out the “Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams for his first championship and also his first Super Bowl MVP.
New England Patriots – 20
St. Louis Rams – 17
Super Bowl XXXVIII (2003)
Two seasons later, Tom Brady and the Patriots would face the Carolina Panthers in one of the most entertaining Super Bowls of all time. Once again, it was a tight game with late heroics from the quarterback. Brady led a last-minute drive to set up a game-winning field goal along with 354 yards passing and three touchdowns. He also added his second Super Bowl MVP to his trophy case.
New England Patriots – 32
Carolina Panthers – 29
Super Bowl XXXIX (2004)
Likewise, Tom Brady and company would keep on rolling the very next season as they won back-to-back Super Bowl titles. In what was the quarterback’s first Pro Bowl season, he would put up another impressive stat line in the biggest game of the year. Brady threw for 236 yards and two TDs while completing 23 of his 33 passes for an almost 70% completion rating.
New England Patriots – 24
Philadelphia Eagles – 21
Super Bowl XLIX (2014)
Even though the Patriots made it to the big game multiple times over the next 10 years, they came up short on each occasion. Tom Brady and his teammates took two losses to Eli Manning and the New York Giants (2007, 2011) before bouncing back in 2014. Down 14 points in the fourth quarter and going against the NFL’s best defense in Seattle’s “Legion of Boom,” Brady led another comeback behind four touchdowns and a Super Bowl record 37 completions. Accordingly, he took home his third Super Bowl MVP award.
New England Patriots – 28
Seattle Seahawks – 24
Super Bowl LI (2016)
The 28-3 comeback that will be talked about forever. If you ever need an example of Tom Brady’s tenacity, this is it. The Atlanta Falcons led by a whopping 25 points in the third quarter. However, TB12 never gave up and willed the Pats to another Super Bowl ring in overtime. He broke his own record with 43 pass completions and threw for 466 yards in the Super Bowl’s first-ever overtime game. Subsequently, Brady would earn his record fourth career Super Bowl MVP.
New England Patriots – 34
Atlanta Falcons – 28
Super Bowl LIII (2018)
TB12 missed out on a second attempt at back-to-back Super Bowls in 2017 when losing to the underdog Eagles. However, he made up for it one year later in his lowest-scoring championship game against the Rams.
New England Patriots – 13
Los Angeles Rams – 3
Super Bowl LV (2020)
In his first season with a new team, Tom Brady once again proved all his doubters wrong, including Father Time. At 43 years old, the QB dominated the reigning champs looking for their second consecutive ring with his 125.8 passer rating. Further, it would be Brady’s seventh and final Super Bowl championship and his fifth Super Bowl MVP.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 31
Kansas City Chiefs – 9