Tom Brady may not be officially finished with football after all.

After ESPN and the NFL Network reported the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback was set to walk away from the NFL after 22 seasons, other reports indicated the legendary quarterback may not be finished. 

Brady’s own company, TB12 Sports, tweeted a farewell message to its co-founder but later deleted the tweet.


Tom Brady

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches from the sidelines during the second quarter of a game against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium Dec. 19, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.  (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Brady, 44, informed Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht in a phone call that he has not made a decision on his future, the Associated Press reported. Bally Sports first reported the call from Brady to Licht.

And Brady’s agent, Don Yee, told ESPN the quarterback would make the final announcement.

"I understand the advance speculation about Tom’s future. Without getting into the accuracy or inaccuracy of what’s being reported, Tom will be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy," Yee said in the statement. "He knows the realities of the football business and planning calendar as well as anybody, so that should be soon."

Tom Brady Sr. told KRON-TV the reports of his son’s retirement were untrue.

"This story Mike is total conjecture," Brady Sr. told NFL Network. "Tommy has not made a final decision one way or the other, and anybody else that says that he has is absolutely wrong."

Brady’s representatives and the Buccaneers didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News. Brady, who usually shares any and all announcements on his social media, did not post about his retirement.

Brady's former teammate, Julian Edelman, was among those who congratulated Brady on a historic career but later walked back his tweet.

Bucs coach Bruce Arians told ESPN the quarterback hadn't decided anything.

Mike Evans and Chris Godwin tweeted their goodbyes.

Rumors about Brady's football future began to swirl after the team’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs.

If he does retire, Brady would leave the league's all-time leader in passing yards (84,520), touchdown passes (624), completions (7,263) and attempts (11,317). He finished second in fourth quarter comebacks with (42), one behind one of his fiercest rivals, Peyton Manning.

Brady’s accolades are astounding.

Not only does Brady personally own more Super Bowl rings than every NFL franchise, he was a five-time Super Bowl MVP. He added 15 Pro Bowl appearances, three All-Pro selections and three MVP awards, and he was named to the Hall of Fame All-Decade Team for the 2000s and 2010s.

The New England Patriots selected Brady, a scrawny quarterback out of Michigan, with the No. 199 pick of the 2000 NFL Draft. He joined a team that already had a quarterback who had led the Patriots to a Super Bowl in Drew Bledsoe. 

When Bledsoe was injured during the 2001 season, it was Brady who replaced him, and he immediately was thrust into the spotlight. Brady helped lead the Patriots to a Super Bowl title that year, surpassing Bledsoe and beginning his ascension to stardom.

Brady, along with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, helped build the Patriots into the dynasty it became. The quarterback only missed one season due to injury during his reign in New England — the 2008 campaign during which he tore his ACL.

Missing that 2008 regular season followed the Patriots' failure to complete an undefeated season the previous year. While it seemed at the time Brady’s career was hitting a downturn, he would only get better.

After that Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants in 2011, the Patriots made four more appearances, winning three more titles. Brady won the league MVP award at age 40 after the 2017 season. He led the league with 4,577 passing yards and had 32 touchdown passes that season. It marked the fourth straight year he had thrown fewer than 10 interceptions.

Brady’s run with the Patriots wasn’t always filled with parades, glitz and glamour. He was the subject of an NFL investigation after he was accused of directing team personnel to deflate footballs during the 2014 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady (12) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates with Mike Evans (13) after a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski during the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Dec. 5, 2021, in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The case went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Brady was suspended for four games, and the circuit court eventually upheld the suspension after it was initially overturned by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Brady and the Pats won the 2015 Super Bowl despite the investigation and resulting discipline.

Brady’s relationship with Belichick was also under a microscope during their final years together. Multiple reports during Brady's final seasons with the Patriots suggested friction between the two. The issue appeared to stem from Belichick preparing for a future without Brady and the quarterback insisting he still had more fuel in the tank.

It all culminated in a loss to the Tennessee Titans during the 2019 AFC playoffs and Brady’s departure.

Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and brought former Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski along for the ride. The team later added receiver Antonio Brown. Each player had a hand in the Bucs 2021 Super Bowl win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

But Brady and the Bucs failed in their attempt to repeat this season.

Brady nonetheless had one of his best statistical seasons in 2021. He finished with a career-high 5,316 passing yards to go with 43 touchdown passes. It was the first time in his career he threw 40 or more touchdown passes in consecutive seasons. It was only the third time he threw 40 or more passes in a single season.

While his decision to retire was approaching, it was unclear when it would happen. Brady often answered questions about retirement saying he might play into his 50s.

"I’ll know when the time’s right. If I can’t … if I’m not a championship-level quarterback, then I’m not gonna play. If I’m a liability to the team, I mean, no way. But if I think I can win a championship, then I’ll play," he told NFL reporter Peter King in August.

Brady also said during a podcast interview in May he would consider playing until he was 50 years old.

"I have a lot to give. I think there’s a lot of time and energy still focused on being a great quarterback, that when that’s done — although I’m a little fearful of it ending — I am open to the belief that there will be a lot of opportunities for me to do things that I haven’t had a chance to do, that I really think I can help a lot of people," he told Hodinkee Radio.

Before a regular-season victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in October, Brady told Andrea Kremer and Hannah Storm he could play well into his 50s.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers calls out instructions in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears in a game at Raymond James Stadium Oct. 24, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

"I really think I can play as long as I want," he told them. "I could literally play until I’m 50 or 55 if I wanted to do. I don’t think I will obviously … my physical body won’t be the problem. I think it’ll just be, I’m just missing too much of life with my family."

Brady and Gronkowski answered the internet’s burning questions in a taped segment for the team in September too. Both players were wearing reflective sunglasses and Brady was in a bucket hat.

"Can Tom Brady play until 50 years old?" Gronkowski asked.

"Wow, seems to be a really hot question lately," Brady replied. "’Can Tom Brady play till 50?’ Like, 50 years old. I don’t find it so difficult, and plus living in Florida it’s kind of a retiree state. I feel like I can just play and glide into retirement. I think I can, I think it’s a yes."

He made clear after the season that his decision would come down to what would be best for him and his family, noting that wife Gisele Bundchen would have a lot of input into his decision.

"It pains her to see me get hit out there. And she deserves what she needs from me as a husband, and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad," Brady told the "Let’s Go!" podcast. 

"And I’m gonna spend some time with them and give them what they need because they’ve really been giving me what I need the last six months to do what I love to do. I said this a few years ago, it’s what relationships are all about. It’s not always what I want. It’s what we want as a family. And I’m gonna spend a lot of time with them and figure out in the future what’s next."

Brady said he doesn’t need a farewell tour because it would be "distracting." 

"I’m really an ultimate — my enjoyment comes from not a recognition of kind of what I’ve accomplished as a player in the league," Brady said. "My enjoyment comes from the competition more so than anything. Even yesterday, I was thinking about competing. I was thinking about this whole year, about competing. I wasn’t thinking about anything other than that.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots looks on against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field Dec. 12, 2010, in Chicago, Ill. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

"So when the time comes to think about post-career and second career, I’ll think about those things. It’s just when you’re 44, I guess you get asked about that a lot. And a lot of people thought I was done playing football in 2015. A lot of people in 2016 said, ‘You’re done.’ A lot of people in 2018, and when I left the Patriots, they said, ‘You’re done.’"

Brady’s decision, it appears, will ultimately come from him.

Love him or hate him, fans got to see what anyone would love to watch for more than two decades: a winning quarterback always at the top of his game putting together what seemed like two careers in one, winning championship after championship and keeping his teams in contention for a title year in and year out.


There may be flashier quarterbacks with bigger arms and faster legs who come and go in the league, but the consistency and the number of championships he brought to his teams may never be matched. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.