Tom Brady set to make decision on NFL future ‘soon’ amid retirement reports

Tom Brady, Retirement, NFL, American Football
The quarterback won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots before adding a record seventh with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season. (via PA)

Tom Brady is set to make a decision on his NFL future in the coming days after reports of the record-breaking quarterback’s retirement emerged on Saturday.

The quarterback won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots before adding a record seventh with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season and appears set to leave, aged 44, top of the charts in almost every major passing statistic.

The NFL Twitter account posted the news, crediting NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport, and followed it with a string of tributes to Brady – but his agent Don Yee insisted “Tom will be the only person to express his plans”, adding that he expects a statement to come “soon”.

A post on the Twitter account of TB12 Sports, the fitness and training company set up by Brady and his personal trainer Alex Guerrero, listed his achievements and finished: “22 Incredible Seasons. Thank you for it all, @TomBrady.”

That tweet has since been taken down, however, while there has been no comment from Brady himself or the Buccaneers.

A statement from Yee, posted on the NFL website, read: “I understand the advance 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.

“He knows the realities of the football business and planning calendar as well as anybody, so that should be soon.”

Former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, who caught 41 touchdown passes from Brady across the regular season and post-season, greeted the initial reports by tweeting: “Thanks for the memories, babe.”

He later added: “Can’t a guy thank another guy for the memories without everyone thinking he’s retiring!?”

Brady had hinted at retirement in recent days when he noted that the feelings of his wife – supermodel Gisele Bundchen – and their family would play a part in his decision.

“I have kids now and I care about them a lot,” Brady said on Monday on his Let’s Go podcast, following Tampa’s play-off exit against the Los Angeles Rams the previous day.

“My wife is my biggest supporter. It pains her to see me get hit out there. And she deserves what she needs from me as a husband and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad.”

Brady led the league in passing yards (5,316), touchdowns (43) and completions (485) in his final season and holds career records in all three categories from his 22 years in the league.

He has been named league MVP on three occasions and Super Bowl MVP in five of his wins, while his statistical marks are sure to stand for years to come.

In 318 regular-season games he has thrown for 84,520 yards and 624 touchdowns, completing 7,263 of 11,317 passes along the way.

His 12,449 yards and 83 touchdowns in the post-season are also records, while he is one of only two starting quarterbacks to win Super Bowls with two different teams – the other being his long-time rival Peyton Manning with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.

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