After 23 seasons, Tom Brady leaves behind an unrivaled NFL career

CNN  — 

From a nearly forgotten sixth-round draft pick to the greatest quarterback – if not NFL player – ever, Tom Brady’s storied career has been nothing short of remarkable.

But, after all the ups and down, it all came to an end on Wednesday after he announced he would be calling time on his 23-year career – this time for good.

This may all seem like déjà vu with Brady initially retiring in February 2022 then reversing his decision to play one more season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But this time, the GOAT (greatest of all time) seemed to put a definite end to his glittering career in the sport.

“I’m retiring for good,” he said in a short video posted to Twitter.

“I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning, I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first.

“It won’t be long-winded. You only get one super-emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year.”

Over the course of his legendary career, Brady has won seven Super Bowl rings – more than any individual NFL franchise – six with the New England Patriots and one with the Buccaneers in 2021.

His last season in the league may not have gone to plan, both on and off the field, but he leaves behind an unrivaled legacy of success.

“Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream,” he said in the short video. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Tom Brady had temporarily retired in February 2022, but came back to lead the Bucs to the playoffs one last time.

The ‘Comeback Kid’

Brady’s story is one of determination and drive.

Born in California, Brady grew up a huge San Francisco 49ers fan as someone who regularly attended games at Candlestick Park.

In fact, as a four-year-old, a young Brady was in attendance for one of the most memorable moments in NFL history, when Joe Montana threw “The Catch” to Dwight Clark in the 1981 NFC Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys.

A great high school baseball player too, he committed to the University of Michigan in 1995.

However, when he arrived in Michigan, it wasn’t plain sailing for Brady. He was nowhere near starting for the team, and such was his frustration, he sought out Greg Harden who was assistant athletic director at the school.

Brady remembers Harden used to tell him: “If you don’t believe in yourself, then why is anyone else going to believe in you?”

In 1998, he finally became the starting quarterback, setting new Wolverines records for most pass attempts and completions in a season.

The following year, despite sharing time with Drew Henson early in the season, he eventually won the job outright, earning himself the nickname “Comeback Kid” due to some – what would become trademark – late fight backs in games.