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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady confirmed the rumors Tuesday, announcing his retirement from the NFL, after an age-defying career during which he won a record seven Super Bowl championships.
In a lengthy post on social media, Brady said: "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... This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore."
The 44-year-old, widely considered the greatest player in NFL history, spent 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, winning six Super Bowl titles with the team, before relocating to Tampa Bay where he led the Buccaneers to a championship last season.
Brady's decision follows a dominant season during which he led the NFL in touchdown passes and passing yards. He could get a fourth league Most Valuable Player trophy for his efforts, which would make him the oldest player to win the award.
In his final game, Brady rallied the Buccaneers from a 27-3 second-half deficit against the Los Angeles Rams but his team were ultimately eliminated from the playoffs by a last-second field goal.
The Northern California native is the all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns and quarterback wins.
Brady also appeared in a record 10 Super Bowls, winning the game's MVP award five times, and his 15 Pro Bowl selections is the most in league history.