At about 6 a.m. ET Wednesday morning, one of the greatest careers in the history of professional sports came to an end. Almost two hours after reporting to his former team, Tom Brady told the crowdAfter a legendary 23-year career as a quarterback in the NFL.
By playing the 2022 season, Brady achieved his goal to play at the age of 45. While it wasn’t his best season, Brady managed to make history. He led the NFL in pass attempts and completions while completing a career-high 490 passes. Brady’s play helped lead hacker to a division title while giving him a chance to appropriately finish his career in the postseason.
There’s a lot to unpack after the news of Brady’s retirement, including the biggest winners and losers after the bombshell announcement. Here’s a look at who benefits most and least from Brady’s retirement.
Winner: Tom Brady
Brady, who fought back tears in his retirement video, clearly didn’t want his legendary career to end. But the fact that he was able to retire on his own terms must have been a consolation prize since not many careers end that way.
Brady also walks away without tarnishing his legacy. Certainly, Brady’s 2021 season was better, and if he had still retired last year, the final picture of his career would have been his epic comeback attempt against the team. rams In last year’s postseason that capped off with a touchdown pass to Mike Evans. But Brady did nothing to negatively impact his legacy this season, and by playing at 45, he was able to check out one of his biggest goals.
Brady gave himself only two options this off-season, per ESPN: retire or stay with the pirates. Given that he chose the former, this is a definite loss for the pirates who now find themselves .
The Buccaneers have other needs (specifically on the offensive line), but the quarterback will now go into the lead after Brady’s announcement. Tampa Bay may choose to give Kyle Trask — a 2021 second-round pick — a starting chance, but he’ll no doubt have outside competition in rookie or veteran form (or both).
Winner: NFC Conference
Brady’s departure makes things easier for the entire NFC. The division most affected by Brady’s decision is the NFC South, which is now wide open following Brady’s retirement. In fact, the NFC’s biggest winner might be Carolina Pantherswho made a late-season rush to catch the Buccaneers with interim head coach Steve Wilkes.
Brady’s retirement also opens the championship window for other NFC teams that previously had to go through Brady. It also reinforces the growing imbalance between quarterbacks in the AFC versus players in the NFC. The AFC — which currently includes Patrick Mahomes, Joe Borough, Justin Herbert and Josh Allen, among others — has a much better quarterback play than the NFC.
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Las Vegas would reportedly have been the frontrunners to land Brady if he had played out of Tampa in 2023. With Brady retired, and with Derek Carr poised to leave the team this offseason, the Raiders have big quarterback questions heading into the offseason.
While Brady never indicated it was a possibility, there were definitely some Patriots Fans who were hoping Brady would consider a bye season in New England. It won’t happen now, as the next time Brady will be at Gillette Stadium is likely to be in a ceremonial setting.
Winner: Pro Football Hall of Fame
It didn’t take long for the Hall of Fame to let everyone know when Brady would be eligible for induction. Undoubtedly, Brady will be voted out during his first year of eligibility. The same can be said of JJ Watt, who also announced his retirement recently.
With Brady and Watt in the headlines, this will likely be one of the most anticipated Hall of Fame weekends in history.
Loser: NFL fans
Whether or not you cheer for him or his team, fans who have watched the NFL over the past 20 years have been given a front row seat to witness the greatest player in NFL history. Decades from now, young fans who grew up watching Brady can tell their grandkids that they watched a seven-time Super Bowl MVP do his thing. Depending on who they were cheering for, they would recall stories involving either euphoria or sadness regarding their memories of watching goats in action.
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