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Tom Brady is retiring... again

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

One year after retiring from professional football, Tom Brady announced today he is retiring from professional football.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TOM BRADY: Good morning, guys. I'll get to the point right away. I'm retiring - for good.

SUMMERS: The all-time-great quarterback, who is now 45 years old, posted a short video on social media.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRADY: I won't be long-winded. You only get one super emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In that emotional essay, Brady said, now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention. But 40 days later, he unretired and came back to play his 23rd season in the NFL.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRADY: (Screaming) Let's go.

SUMMERS: This season, his Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their division and made the playoffs, but lost in the first round. As Brady walked off the field that day, ESPN commentator Troy Aikman took a moment to reflect.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TROY AIKMAN: If in fact this is it for Tom Brady, all I can say on behalf of all football fans is thank you, and appreciate the memories. What a career.

SUMMERS: Brady expressed his gratitude as he concluded the postgame press conference.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRADY: Just very grateful for the respect, and I hope I gave the same thing back to you guys. So thank you very much. Appreciate it.

SHAPIRO: In a statement today, Buc's general manager Jason Licht said we won't ever forget the wins or the accolades, and his influence will be felt for years to come. Brady delivered Tampa a Super Bowl title in 2021. That was his seventh Super Bowl victory. At the ring ceremony after that game, he looked back on how far he'd come.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRADY: I was a sixth-round pick. You know, I was 199th pick. I never forgot that. I still haven't forgotten that to this day.

SUMMERS: He was drafted in 2000 by the New England Patriots, where he played for 20 seasons and won his previous six Super Bowls. There were raw feelings in the Northeast when Tom Brady left the team. But last year, the Patriots congratulated him on his first retirement, tweeting, it was quite the ride. Thank you and congratulations, Tom Brady. This morning, the team retweeted that post and said, quite the ride, indeed. Thank you again, Tom Brady.

SHAPIRO: The Pats also tweeted three goat emojis, shorthand for greatest of all time, as did many fellow NFL players. Brady addressed those fellow teammates and competitors today, as well as his family and friends.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRADY: Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn't change a thing.

SUMMERS: Last May, Fox Sports announced that Brady would be joining them as a TV analyst after his playing career, though we should note that, in his 23-year career, he never went more than three straight years without a Super Bowl appearance. So I guess all we're saying here is, should Tom Brady decide to pull a Tom Brady again, the stats are on his side to make the big game next year, in 2024.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.