Say it ain't so. Multiple reports suggest that NFL quarterback Tom Brady is set to announce his retirement.
ESPN's Adam Schefter, a respected reporter as far as the NFL is concerned, has said 'multiple sources' have confirmed he will hang up his boots.
It's a remarkable turn of events and a very unique set of circumstances given Brady's standing in the league. Based on age alone, it won't come as a huge surprise.
If you base it on his future at Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers did suffer a disappointing loss in the Divisional playoffs to the L.A. Rams last weekend.
The Bucs had retained most of their starting squad from their Super Bowl win in 2021. A 13-4 regular season left them as one of the favourites for the Lombardi trophy.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 29, 2022
Brady's Retirement Imminent
According to CBS, the reports have come from sources 'within Brady's inner circle'. They expect him to make an announcement on his 'future plans' in the next few days.
They say one of the reasons Brady is calling it a day is down to the future of Tampa Bay. Apparently, he wants them to have an opportunity to build without him.
Another reason for the timing is the pending playoff schedule. With the NFC and AFC Championship games set, Brady wanted to announce it before the Super Bowl.
CBS say his plan all along was to play through the 2022 season and then decide to stick around for a year or two after that. It seems he's decided on that front.
It's a testament to Brady's character in bowing out now without a 'farewell tour' of sorts, which he most definitely has earned given his decorated career.
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 28, 2022
Even at 44, his performances this season held him up at the top in terms of quarterback rankings. He led the league in terms of passing touchdowns.
Since he was drafted at 199th in the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady has gone on to compete in 22 NFL seasons, twenty of those for the New England Patriots.
He is a seven-time Super Bowl champion and five-time Super Bowl MVP. On three occasions, he was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player.
Brady made the Pro Bowl fifteen times during his career that spanned three decades. His first appearance was in 2001, and his last was in 2021.
He led the NFL in passing touchdowns for five seasons including the one just gone by. He also led the league in passing yards four times.