Tom Brady Announces NFL Retirement: 'This Is Difficult for Me... '

It’s officially official: Tom Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl winning NFL phenomenon, is retiring from the game after 22 years.

“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” the 44-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback wrote in an Instagram post early Tuesday. “There is a physical, mental and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.

“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes,” he continued. “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’s announcement comes a week after the Buccaneers lost in the divisional round of the N.F.C. playoffs to the Los Angeles Rams, and just days after word of his likely retirement leaked via ESPN.

The gridiron GOAT — whose mile-long list of accomplishments and records include 10 trips to the Super Bowl — spent his first two decades with the New England Patriots. He jumped to Tampa Bay for his final two seasons.