A Legend Declines: Why Tom Brady Should Have Retired Earlier

Darren - February 2, 2023

A Legend Declines: Why Tom Brady Should Have Retired Earlier

Darren - February 2, 2023

Millions Waiting

Many aging sports stars play past their prime because they want to make one last payday. Philip Rivers left the Chargers in 2019 and joined the Colts because they gave him a guaranteed $20 million. Nobody can blame athletes for doing this, even if they’re not in their best condition. But Brady isn’t in this position because he has a decade of employment ahead.

Hello! Magazine

FOX Sports signed Brady to a 10-year contract worth $35 million per year after he retires. Brady will remain a regular feature on TV screens after his retirement. He should have retired earlier and enjoyed one of the cushiest TV deals ever. It’s bizarre that he put himself through the blender of professional football again (via New York Post).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lack Of Dignity

There was a lack of dignity in Brady’s final season because he suffered losses that he wouldn’t have earlier in his career. Fans witnessed a horrible defeat against the shambolic Panthers. Carolina shuffled quarterbacks and fired their coach in a wasted season. Somehow, Brady’s team contrived to lose to them.

AP News

Meanwhile, many fans couldn’t believe that he lost a duel with 2022’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant,’ San Francisco rookie Brock Purdy. This aged better than everybody expected because Purdy proved he was a good player, but it was embarrassing at the time. Brady was lucky that his division was terrible so the Bucs scraped their way into the postseason (via Tampa

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Sabbatical Year

Some NFL experts think that Brady should have taken a sabbatical year in 2022 instead of rejoining the Bucs. This could have allowed him to deal with his personal life and refresh his mind. Then he could have had a last hurrah with another team like the Raiders, the Dolphins, or even his beloved 49ers (via Forbes).

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But he should have retired instead of rushing back for a dismal season. Now everybody will associate his final year with failure instead of going out in a blaze of glory. It wouldn’t matter if the Bucs crashed out of the playoffs if they played well. But they lost with a whimper against ‘America’s Team.’

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Too Much Change

Another reason why Brady should have retired earlier is that the Bucs entered another transitional period. Bruce Arians said that he quit because Brady came back. He did this as a compliment to the quarterback because he wanted Todd Bowles to inherit his talents. But Arians had already mentally checked out after winning the Super Bowl.


Meanwhile, there was a significant player turnover and this affected Brady. He lost Rob Gronkowski to retirement again as well as multiple receivers. This meant that he didn’t have many elite weapons apart from Mike Evans. It affected Brady’s game because he was trying to forge new on-field relationships but it didn’t always work (via Glamour).


Family Matters

Nobody knows what went on behind closed doors but Brady’s family impacted him in 2022. First, there was the trauma of losing them and a messy public divorce. It must have been agony to see his personal life make headlines across the world. Then he had the challenge of living without his children in the same house.

Us Weekly

This was a brutal transition for Brady and there’s no shame if it distracted him. Some people think that he should have retired early and spent more time with them. Maybe they wouldn’t have broken apart if he had. But it’s impossible to know and it may have been inevitable if they had irreconcilable differences (via People).


Hard To Watch

“I didn’t like watching that game,” Jordan Poyer said after the Cowboys defeated Tampa in the 2022 Wild Card Round. He continued: “It was hard to watch. You’re down 27-0 at halftime. He was defeated. You could see he was defeated. I still think he obviously knows everything about everything, the insides and out of football.”

The Bills’ star safety wasn’t the only player who felt this way about Brady’s final game. But it was also the story of each game in his final season. It’s never a good sign when an athlete’s fellow professionals call for their retirement. They know that it’s tough to walk away but they didn’t want to see him tarnish his legacy.


Nothing Left To Prove

Brady entered his final season with nothing left to prove. The seven-time Super Bowl winner is the most successful player ever. He knew that Tampa Bay wasn’t in a position to win again but he kept playing. Some people admire him because he didn’t pack up after claiming a ring. But there was no need for him to stick around.

Fox News

If he didn’t go home to San Francisco he should have retired earlier. The three-time MVP earned 15 Pro Bowl selections. Meanwhile, he was a five-time Super Bowl MVP as he played a crucial role in inspiring his teams to victory. Brady should have retired because he had completed football multiple times (via AP News).

The Athletic

Injury Worries

Nobody wants to see a 45-year-old Brady taking hard hits from the NFL’s toughest defensive ends. But he put himself in that position by continuing to play deep into his forties. Remember, the average length of an NFL career is less than four years. Brady took his tenure as a starter to the extreme and could pay a harsh price (via Sportscasting).

Boston Globe

The former New England star avoids the topic of concussions but admits he suffered several. This included multiple concussions in a single game which is not good for his long-term brain health. We hope that the future Hall of Famer will have a healthy post-playing life. But he should have retired earlier because there was nothing else for him to do.


Fairytale Ending

If Brady’s career was a train journey he fell asleep and missed his final stop. Instead of hanging up his cleats in 2023, he should have retired earlier. The legendary quarterback had his fairytale ending after the Bucs won the Super Bowl in 2021. It was the perfect time for him to walk away after he achieved his seventh victory.


It also proved that Brady could win without Bill Belichick. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay built the team to win with Brady at the center. It was only going downhill after this victory but Brady didn’t recognize this. Everybody would have thought it was perfect if he quit after he won his final Vince Lombardi Trophy (via WSN).