It’s official: The GOAT has retired. After speculation all year (and specifically over the last few days) that this could be his last season, Tom Brady announced his retirement Feb. 1 via Instagram.
So ends an unprecedented 22-year career in which he quarterbacked the New England Patriots (six) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (one) to seven Super Bowl championships, breaking every major NFL passing mark along the way. Brady, 44, posted the following on Instagram:
“I’ve done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”
He always has. Here's the post itself with the rest of the message.
Brady Says Goodbye
But could Brady totally branch out from the sports, health and clothing options that he currently has to do other things during the next journey of his life? English bookmaker Betfair thinks so and lists odds for Brady winning the 2024 Republican nomination for president.
Tom Brady's Odds to be 2024 Republican Nominee
To make it clear, there is no legalized political betting in the United States. You could, however, make such a wager in England.
Brady has been listed as a +5100 long shot among 56 choices listed by Betfair. At those odds, Brady is tied with former Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, Donald Trump Jr. and Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan.
With the odds recently updated, the top 5 heading the list are former President Donald Trump (+210), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (+500), former South Carolina Gov. and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (+850), former VP Mike Pence (+1300) and Fox TV host Tucker Carlson (+1700).
And consider this: There are some who aren't buying that Brady will retire. In fact, on Feb. 16, Caesars Sportsbook posted future odds for 2022 NFL MVP and there was Brady, listed at +4500.
From the NFL to Washington
Brady running for office in 2024 might seem unlikely now but former NFL players winning political elections has been done before. There is a long list of politicians who enjoyed a career in a pro sport. Here are five former NFL players who have made the leap:
- Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp played quarterback for the Buffalo Bills (1962-69), back to AFL days. He later served as a long-term Republican Congressman from New York (1971-89) before becoming Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He ran as vice president on the unsuccessful GOP ticket for president with Bob Dole.
- Jon Runyan Sr.
Jon Runyan Sr. had a stellar 14-year career as a right tackle for the Tennessee Titans (1996-99), Philadelphia Eagles (2000-08) and San Diego Chargers (2009). He then serves as Republican Congressman from New Jersey (2011-15).
- Steve Largent
Steve Largent was a Hall of Fame wide receiver with the Seattle Seahawks from (1976-89). He later became a Republican Congressman from Oklahoma from 1995-2003.
- Anthony Gonzalez
Anthony Gonzalez, out of Ohio State, played wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots. He has been a Republican Congressman from Ohio’s 16th district since 2019.
- Heath Shuler
Heath Shuler was a quarterback out of the University of Tennessee who was the third overall pick in the 1994 NFL draft. He played for the Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints. He was a Democratic Congressman from Ohio from 2007-2013.
What's Next for Tom Brady? Ranking the Most Likely Choices
With a lot more free time, Brady will need to fill the void. Will he pour into his existing companies, join his wife on the runway or own his own NFL franchise one day? Here are some other possible second acts for Tom Brady ranked based on the likelihood of happening:
- Business Owner + Investor
From his recent launch of Brady Brand and his involvement with NIL to his well-known TB12 Sports brand, the most likely outcome is Tom Brady focuses on building his businesses. He has also shown an interest in crypto currency, so expect investing of all kinds from the 7-time Super Bowl winner.
- TV Analyst
If Brady expressed interest, can you imagine the battle among the networks? Didn’t we see that CBS is paying Tony Romo a reported $180 over 10 years? Amazon is joining the field and Brady would be the Amazon of gets. If Brady doesn't focus on business and investing, we would suspect broadcasting is the next likely move.
- Professional Model
Brady's looks seemed to evolve along with his game. Brady has modeled professionally before thanks to partnerships with the likes of UGG and Under Armour, so it would not be a shock that he continue to get in front of a camera, either for his own brands or others looking to capitalize on the superstar's image. And don't forget, Brady's wife, Gisele Bündchen is one of the highest paid supermodels in the world.
- NFL Or College Football Coach
If there ever was a “coach on the field,” it was Brady. Like many former players have done before him, it would not shock anyone if Brady were to take up coaching. Would a school like Michigan offer an alumni like Brady if Jim Harbaugh left them high and dry this offseason? For sure not. Would a professional team let him coach QBs or fill an off the field role? Absolutely, if he was interested.
- NFL Owner
Owning a professional sports franchise is what other GOATs, namely Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter and Wayne Gretzky, have dabbled in. Would Brady consider buying a team? He has never discussed it publicly but if anyone knows what it takes to build a winning franchise firsthand, it's Brady. We don't see it as likely but maybe a possibly down the road.
When Tom Brady was associated with Donald Trump, and Republicans in general, the former QB deflected in hopes to turning attention away from his political views. But that was as a player. Now that Brady is retired, would he consider a run at politics? As mentioned above, bookmakers in Europe think there at least a small chance he does it as early as the next Presidential election.
- Professional Golfer
Brady participated in the made-for-TV The Match with Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rogers last July. But based on his performance that day, Brady would need to see significant improvement in his game before he even considered a career in golf. We can see him possibly competing in another exhibition but not anything on Tour.
- Social Media Troll
If you follow Tom Brady on any of the major social media platforms, you know he enjoys the well-time comical tweet or post on Instagram. Would Brady turn his attention in retirement to commenting in real-time on current events to the enjoyment of most of the internet? We sure hope so.
Regardless of what Tom Brady ends up focusing on in retirement, it's safe to assume the NFL won't be the same without him.