Tom Brady officially announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday, days after reports first surfaced about his intention to step away from the game.
Brady made his retirement official in a lengthy post on his Instagram page.
"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 wrote.
"I've done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions," he continued. "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."
Brady went on to thank Buccaneers fans, coaches, teammates, front office officials and owners. He also thanked his personal trainer, his agents and family members.
"As I said earlier, I am going to take it day by day. I know for sure I want to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people's lives, just as so many have done for me," Brady wrote in closing.
Rumors began swirling about Brady's impending retirement on Saturday when ESPN first reported that the Tampa Bay Buccaneer and former New England Patriot signal-caller was preparing to retire.
Brady's agent and some family members later stated publicly that the quarterback had not made a decision about his future.
Brady himself stated on a podcast released Monday night that he had not yet made up his mind about retirement.
"When the time is right, I'll be ready to make a decision," Brady said.
"We're in such an era of information and people want to be in front of the news often. I totally understand that and understand that's the environment we're in," Brady said. "I think for me, it's just literally day-to-day with me."
Brady will retire as one of the greatest to ever play the game. In his 22-season career, he won seven Super Bowls — six with the Patriots and one with the Buccaneers. He was named the NFL's most valuable player in 2007, 2010 and in 2017 and is the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards, completions and passing touchdowns.
NFL commissioner Roger Gooddell congratulated Brady in a statement released shortly after the announcement.
"He inspired fans in New England, Tampa and around the world with one of the greatest careers in NFL history. It has been a privilege to watch him compete and have him in the NFL. We thank him for his many contributions to our game and wish Tom and his family all the best in the future," the statement read, in part.