Pick #199: The Story Of Tom Brady

Brian Fleck

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady officially announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday, February 1st, through social media. From a sixth-round draft pick to a 7 time Super Bowl champion, Brady has made a strong argument for why he should be considered the greatest NFL quarterback and player of all time.

Brady released a statement on social media, stating that he is choosing to not make “that competitive commitment anymore.” Brady has devoted 22 years of his life to the game, and now, he wants to divert his focus elsewhere: “I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.” 

Brady once said that he would retire once he felt that his performance was beginning to decline; however, in his 22nd season, Brady was putting up MVP numbers. This season, Brady led the league in passing yards (5,3160), completions (485), and touchdowns (43) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady and the Bucs finished the season 13-4 and came out on top in the NFC South, clinching the number 2 seed in the playoffs. Brady led the Bucs past the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of playoffs, but after overcoming a 24 point deficit, the Bucs fell short with the Rams’ last-second field goal in the second round. Brady finished his career leading a plethora of different categories such as all-time career passing yards, passing touchdowns, pass completions and Super Bowl appearances (10). What’s even more impressive about Brady’s hall of fame career is that he got his break due to a fluke injury.

Brady was drafted out of Michigan by the New England Patriots with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. The Patriots drafted Brady as a 3rd string backup QB to Pro Bowler Drew Bledsoe. Before Brady even knew if he was going to make the roster, he had the confidence of a starting quarterback, telling Patriots owner Robert Kraft that he was “the best decision this organization has ever made.” In week two of the Patriots’ 2001 season, Bledsoe suffered a scary injury, at the hands of the Jets, sidelining him for the rest of the season. Although this injury led to the Patriots losing one game, it resulted in two decades of winning as the backup QB, Tom Brady, took over and helped create one of the most dominant dynasties in all of sports. 

Over his last few years in the NFL, Brady has been preparing for retirement, creating many different projects such as the wellness company TB12 Sports, the media company Religion of Sports and the Brady Brand clothing line. He has even created two television series: “Tom vs. Time” and “Man in the Arena”. 

Brady’s retirement from the NFL marks the end of an era, and he indisputably will go down in history as one of the greatest, if not the best, to ever do it.