NFL quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement Tuesday after days of confusion about whether the 44-year-old would call it quits.
"I've 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,” Brady said in a statement posted on Instagram.
"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: 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 played 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, and the last two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He holds the all-time records for Super Bowl wins (seven), Super Bowl MVP awards (five), playoff wins (35), regular-season wins (243), passing yards (84,520) and passing touchdowns (624), among other accolades.
A three-time All-Pro, Brady also won three NFL regular-season MVP awards and once held the single-season passing touchdown record (50, set in 2007).
He generally is considered the greatest quarterback of all-time.
"Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL," league Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year."
Brady just finished his 22nd NFL season, where he led Tampa Bay to the divisional round of the playoffs, losing to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams will face the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 13.
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