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Tom Brady Announces Official Retirement

BOSTON (CBS) -- Tom Brady has retired. For real, officially.

After a messy weekend where ESPN reported that Brady was retiring, only to have the Brady camp refute that report, Brady himself announced his retirement Tuesday from the NFL in a series of posts to his Instagram page.

"This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. 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 wrote.

Interestingly enough, the Patriots and New England fans were not mentioned in his eight-slide retirement announcement. Brady also used an image from his return to Gillette Stadium, when the Buccaneers beat the Patriots last October:

The Patriots sent out a simple Tweet to thank and congratulate Brady. A short time later, Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued his own statement, saying "words cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady."

Brady did issue a very quick thanks to the Kraft statement and the Patriots tweet on Instagram and Twitter saying "Thank you Patriots and Patriot Nation. Beyond grateful and love you all."

Even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who suspended Brady for four games for Deflategate, offered praise, saying in a statement, "It has been a privilege to watch him compete and have him in the NFL."

The NFL Hall of Fame tweeted that with Tuesday's announcement Brady "would first be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2027. "

Brady steps away after an incredible 22-year career where he won seven Super Bowls -- six with the Patriots and one with the Buccaneers -- and set countless NFL passing records. It's a career that no one will be able to recreate, and Brady's seven championships will likely never be matched.

Not bad for a former sixth-round draft pick.

In addition to those Super Bowl victories, Brady was a five-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time NFL MVP. He won three of his championships early in his career, with his first coming in 2001 after he took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe early in the regular season. The Patriots won three titles in Brady's first four years as the starter, and while a lot of that fell on New England's stout defense, Brady led the Patriots on late, game-winning drives in each of those Super Bowls.

Brady then shredded the NFL record books in 2007, when he threw 50 touchdown passes and amassed 4,806 passing yards as the Patriots went 16-0 during the regular season. Brady won his first MVP award that season, though New England came up short of perfection with a Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants.

The QB then suffered a torn ACL and missed almost the entire 2008 season. He returned in 2009, but the Patriots didn't win a playoff game for the next two years, losing in the Wild Card Round in 2009 and the Divisional Round in 2010. Brady and the Patriots were back in the Super Bowl in 2011, only to lose to the New York Giants once again. While the regular season success continued, the postseason wins weren't as frequent as the beginning of Brady's career, with New England going 4-5 in the playoffs from 2009-13.

That ended in 2014 though, as Brady and New England started another dynastic run. After going 10 years without raising a banner, Brady brought another home to New England with an amazing comeback win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. The quarterback was downright surgical in the second half, orchestrating a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown drives that helped win the game (along with Malcolm Butler's game-saving interception). Brady finished his night with 328 passing yards and four touchdowns against the NFL's top-ranked defense and earned MVP honors.

And that was only Brady kicking off his late-career renaissance. He'd win two more Super Bowls with the Patriots (including that ridiculous 28-3 comeback against the Falcons) and another with the Buccaneers before calling it a career. He led the league league in touchdown passes in 2015 at the age of 38, then again in 2021 at the age of 44 with Tampa Bay. He also led the league with 5,316 passing yards in his final season.

Brady finished his career with a 243-73 record during the regular season and a 35-12 record in the playoffs. Both of those win totals are atop the NFL's all-time list.

His playing days are now over, as Brady is off to enjoy the life of retirement while focusing on his family and his businesses. There is a lot ahead for Tom Brady in his post-football days, and in five years, he'll take his spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

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