But on Sunday, a source familiar with the situation told CNN that “Brady contacted (Tampa Bay) Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht (on Saturday) to inform him he has yet to make a final decision about his future.”
ESPN first reported Brady was retiring, citing unnamed sources. The Boston Globe reported an NFL source confirmed the news.
Brady had not commented on the reports until Monday.
“You know, it’s a good week for me and I’m still just going through the process that I said I was going through,” he told sportscaster Jim Gray on their SiriusXM “Let’s Go!” podcast “Sometimes, it just takes some time to really evaluate how you feel and what you want to do and I think when the time’s right I’ll be ready to make a decision one way or the other just like I said last week.”
Brady just wrapped up his 22nd season in the NFL and second with the Bucs.
Brady said Monday it’s still a day-to-day process and that he will be the one to announce his future plans when it’s time.
“I understand that my decision affects a lot of people’s lives so when that decision comes, it’ll come,” he said, adding he wasn’t going to “race to some conclusion.”
When asked whether the media reports would be motivated for him to return for another season, Brady chuckled and said he was motivated to win and be successful.
“And maybe there’s little parts of motivation that come from different places or what people may say or think but I’m mostly motivated from inside and wanting to be the best for my teammates and my coaches and my organization,” he said.
The NFL tweeted its gratitude Saturday for his accomplishments, referring to Brady as GOAT — Greatest Of All Time — with the hashtag #ThankYouTom and an illustration of the quarterback wearing his Super Bowl rings. Another NFL tweet read, “Nobody did it better.”
Along with the league offering its best wishes, athletes from Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to Brooklyn Nets star James Harden tweeted goat emojis.
“Thanks for the memories, babe,” former Patriots teammate Julian Edelman tweeted.
“Hell of a run!” Bucs cornerback and teammate Richard Sherman wrote. “Honor to share the field with you.”
Brady’s record-setting career
Brady is considered by many NFL observers to be the greatest quarterback of all time, having led the New England Patriots to six Super Bowl titles and the Bucs to one. No quarterback has thrown for more touchdowns, more yards or won more playoff games than Brady. He has also played in and won more regular-season games in his career than any other quarterback.
Brady is a 44-year-old father of three who has been married to supermodel Gisele Bündchen since 2009. They have two children, a 12-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter. Brady has a 14-year-old son from a prior relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.
“The biggest difference now that I’m older is I have kids now too, and I care about them a lot as well,” Brady told Jim Gray.
“They’ve been my biggest supporters. My wife is my biggest supporter, it pains her to see me get hit out there.
“She deserves what she needs from me as a husband and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad.”
Taken by the Patriots with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady wasn’t meant to be the starting quarterback; the Patriots already had three-time Pro Bowl selection Drew Bledsoe. The Boston Herald reported Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said they took Brady because he was the highest-rated player still available in the sixth round.
“He’s a good, tough quarterback who played at a high level of competition (at the University of Michigan),” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. ‘We’ll put him out there with everyone else and let him compete and see what happens .”
After Brady had a good training camp and preseason, the Patriots made the rare move of keeping him as a fourth-string quarterback.
He moved up the depth chart and in the second game of Brady’s second season Bledsoe suffered a severe injury when he was slammed to the ground in a game.
When Brady took over, the Patriots were coming off a losing season and had struggled in two losses to open the 2001 season.
But the young quarterback led them to 11 wins in their last 14 regular-season games and on to Super Bowl XXXVI. There the Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams on a last-second field goal after Brady completed five passes on the game-winning drive. It was the first of five times he would be selected as Most Valuable Player in the game.
The Patriots added Vince Lombardi trophies in 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
His best season might have been in 2007 when the Patriots went undefeated in the regular season as Brady threw for a then-record 50 touchdowns and completed a league-high 68.9% of his passes. But the New York Giants upset the Patriots in one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever, one of three NFL title games Brady didn’t win.
Brady’s last season was filled with gaudy numbers, too: 5,316 yards passing and 43 touchdowns. While Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the overwhelming favorite to win the MVP award, Brady is the likely runner-up. Whoever wins will be MVP for the fourth time in his career.
CNN’s Homero De la Fuente, Kevin Dotson, Ray Sanchez and Jack Bantock contributed to this report.