Tom Brady finally closed the door on his illustrious NFL career, retiring after 22 seasons. The star quarterback heads into retirement, regarded by many as the greatest quarterback to play the game. However, his decision to hang up his cleats has come with some stern comments from former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal.
Tom Brady retires after 22 NFL seasons
Days after reports surfaced that Brady would retire, the star quarterback confirmed that notion on social media on Monday.
The 44-year-old voiced that he doesn’t have the “all-in” commitment needed to continue his career for a 23rd NFL season.
“I have 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 via ESPN. “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.
Brady is widely regarded as the greatest quarterback in league history behind seven Super Bowl wins and numerous NFL records. He holds the all-time marks in touchdown passes (624) and passing yards (84,250). He spent his first 20 seasons with the New England Patriots and the last two years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady finished with an MVP-caliber 2021 campaign, leading the league with 43 touchdown passes and 5,316 passing yards. As he moves into retirement, a former NBA star wasn’t too happy with his decision.
Shaquille O’Neal calls out Tom Brady for retiring: ‘Get your butt up and do one more year’
Tom Brady’s decision to step into retirement has drawn a litany of reactions, with many voicing much appreciation and congratulatory remarks toward the future first-ballot Hall of Famer.
However, former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal took a different approach to the news. The four-time NBA champion commented on Brady’s retirement announcement post, bluntly stating that the 44-year-old should extend his career to a 23rd campaign.
“No man get your butt up and do one more year,” O’Neal wrote.
First and foremost, O’Neal’s remarks are more than likely expressed with a light-hearted intent but hold some essence of seriousness. Many NFL fans and Brady’s peers would like for him to play at least one more year, but that possibility is out the window.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion was still playing at an elite level, putting together an MVP-caliber campaign that nearly pushed the Buccaneers toward vying for another championship. If Brady wanted to, he could extend his career as long as he desires.
However, his commitment to the game after 22 years isn’t what he feels it needs to be physically and mentally prepared for another NFL season. Like many other NFL fans sharing the same sentiment, O’Neal will have to live with the reality that Brady is now retired.
NFL sits in great hands with the next generation of star quarterbacks
As Brady steps into retirement, the NFL moves into the hands of the next generation of star quarterbacks.
Aaron Rodgers remains the elder statesman if he returns, but there are many other supremely talented players at the position. Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, and Justin Herbert will lead the way.
Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford are well in the picture with each having many highly productive and successful campaigns ahead. Brady’s departure certainly creates a tremendous void, but the NFL possesses so many talented quarterbacks that will only further lift the game forward.