TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady says he’s still evaluating his future and the seven-time Super Bowl champion isn’t ready to make a decision about retirement.
“I’m just still going through the process that I said I was going through,” Brady said Monday night on his SiriusXM podcast. “Sometimes it takes some time to really evaluate how you feel, what you want to do, and I think when the time is right, I’ll be ready to make a decision, one way or the other, just like I said last week.”
The 44-year-old quarterback has already stated a desire to spend more time with his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and three children. He’s under contract for 2022 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is coming off one of the best seasons in his 22-year career.
“I understand my decision affects a lot of people’s lives so when that decision comes, it’ll come,” Brady said.
ESPN first reported Brady’s retirement Saturday, citing unidentified sources. Brady’s health and wellness company posted a tweet indicating he’s retiring, and reaction came from around the world congratulating Brady on his career. Even the NFL’s Twitter account posted a series of congratulatory messages.
TB12sports quickly deleted its tweet, but ESPN and NFL Network continued reporting that Brady has played his last game.
“We’re in such an era of information and people want to be in front of the news often, and I totally understand that and understand that’s the environment we’re in,” Brady said. “But I think for me, it’s literally day to day with me. I’m trying to do the best I can every day and evaluate things as they come, and I’m trying to make a great decision for me and my family.”
Brady said he was disappointed that coverage of his possible retirement overshadowed the NFL’s conference championship games over the weekend.
“I’ll know when the time’s right,” he said. “When I know, I’ll know and when I don’t know, I don’t know, and I’m not going to race to some conclusion about that.”
When Brady walks away, he’ll do so as the NFL’s career leader in numerous passing categories and most prolific winner. He’d also be going out at the top of his game.
Brady led the NFL in yards passing (5,316), touchdowns (43), completions (485) and attempts (719), but the Buccaneers lost at home to the NFC champion Rams on Jan. 23 in the divisional round after rallying from a 27-3 deficit to tie it in the final minute.
Brady won six Super Bowls with the Patriots playing for coach Bill Belichick, and got better with age. He led the Buccaneers to their second Super Bowl title last year in his first season in Tampa.