Feb 1, 2023
Tom Brady Announces Retirement From NFL, This Time ‘For Good’
(Bloomberg) -- Tom Brady said he’s retiring from the National Football League — and this time, he won’t be making a surprise comeback.
“I’ll get to the point right away. I’m retiring — for good,” Brady said in a video posted online on Wednesday.
Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion, announced his retirement after the 2021 season, too, only to say he was returning to the league a few weeks later. This year, the quarterback led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to an 8-9 record and into the playoffs, losing to the Dallas Cowboys in the wild card round.
Brady has earned more than $332 million from 23 seasons in the NFL, according to financial database Spotrac. He has endorsement deals with Under Armour Inc. and Hertz Global Holdings Inc., among other big brands.
Last time he announced his retirement, Brady said he’d focus on his own companies, including sports NFT site Autograph.io, Brady brand and TB12 Sports. In May, Fox Corp. Chief Executive Officer Lachlan Murdoch announced that Brady would join Fox Sports as an analyst once his playing career is over. The New York Post has reported the deal is valued at $375 million over 10 years, which would make it the largest contract in sportscasting history.
Read more: NFL’s Tom Brady to Be Analyst at Fox Sports When Career Ends
Athletes are increasingly becoming major investors in startups, while the path from quarterback to deal-maker has been well-trodden.
Steve Young won three Super Bowl rings as quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and made it to the National Football League Hall of Fame. After leaving the NFL, he has helped raise around $7 billion as co-founder of HGGC LLC, a Palo Alto, California, private equity firm.
Joe Montana, another former Hall of Fame quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, co-founded venture fund Liquid 2 Ventures in 2015, and invested in GitLab Inc. at a $12 million valuation. The software development platform listed in 2021 at a $11 billion valuation.
Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning joined private equity firm Brand Velocity Group, which specializes in consumer products, as a partner after retirement to work on business development and deals.
While Brady didn’t say what might come next, the athlete has a range of investments, including charity fund-raising platform Omaze Inc., card-trading service Alt and online learning tool Class Technologies Inc.
Over the past twelve months, one major deal hasn’t fared so well. Brady owns more than 1.1 million common shares of collapsed crypto firm FTX Trading, bankruptcy court documents show.
Early last year, Brady, through the company that holds his brands, filed 26 applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office. The applications range from food delivery, bottled water, protein bars, restaurants and retail boutiques to skincare, candles, eyewear, jewelry, furniture and gym equipment.
It’s been a tumultuous period off the field for Brady. He and model Gisele Bundchen finalized their divorce in October, ending a 13-year marriage between two of the highest earners in the worlds of sports and fashion.
Brady, by just about every measure, leaves the NFL as one of its most-decorated players of all-time. The 15-time Pro Bowl selection has more career passing yards (89,214), completed passes (7,753) and regular season passing touchdowns (649) than any quarterback in league history, according to the database Pro Football Reference.
But more than the raw statistics, Brady’s legacy is about winning.
He’s had more comebacks and game-winning drives than any other quarterback. He played in 10 Super Bowls, winning seven and earning most-valuable player honors in five of them. He started in the most playoff games of anyone, regardless of position, by a wide margin.
--With assistance from Caitlin Fichtel, Gerry Smith and Kamaron Leach.
(Updates with context on Brady’s career throughout, context from paragraph eight.)
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