Sports stars react to Tom Brady's official retirement announcement
The tributes have begun pouring in as seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady announced he's retiring "for good" on Wednesday morning.
After being selected in the sixth round (199th overall) of the 2000 NFL draft, Brady played 23 seasons – the first 20 with the New England Patriots and final three with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Along the way, he became perhaps the most decorated player in NFL history, with three league MVP awards and five Super Bowl MVP trophies to go along with those seven championship rings.
He has also earned the respect of teammates and opponents alike.
Appreciation from former rivals, teammates
Together, Rob Gronkowski and Brady won four Super Bowls (three with the Patriots, one with the Buccaneers). While the two will forever be linked by their to-be Hall of Fame careers, Gronk went beyond the field for his congratulations, writing, "you always will be, my friend."
Tommy, since I already wrote you a long retirement message last year, this time I shall say, welcome to the 2x retired club.
You’re a legend and you always will be, my friend ♥️🏉 @TomBrady pic.twitter.com/88oWYvQtdo
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) February 1, 2023
Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt, who just announced his retirement, offered his blunt assessment of Brady's career: "Greatest of All Time. No question, no debate. It’s been an honor and a privilege."
Greatest of All Time.
No question, no debate.
It’s been an honor and a privilege.
PS - The newly retired group meets on the golf course every morning at 10am. Drinks are on the new guy, so bring your wallet. https://t.co/rjPx7bQa6u
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 1, 2023
Dener Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, who won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, also saluted Brady.
Congrats Tom. 👑
Salute to the Greatest. 🐐 #12 https://t.co/3l1ZxzdIoQ
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) February 1, 2023
Buccaneers offensive lineman Ryan Jensen was among the first of Brady's teammates, past and present, to give thanks following the retirement announcement.
Thanks for pushing me everyday this season mentally and physically to get back on the field. I'm glad I was able to take the field with you one last time! Enjoy retirement, don't dog me too much in the booth. Love ya man! @TomBrady pic.twitter.com/Q3G5eoTJgc
— Ryan Jensen (@sinjen66) February 1, 2023
Brady's baseball counterpart?
Former New York Yankees shortstop and Baseball Hall of Famer Derek Jeter -- a five-time World Series champion -- was among the first sports stars to offer his congratulations.
Congrats @TomBrady on an unbelievable career. It was fun to watch! https://t.co/zkobgugR52
— Derek Jeter (@derekjeter) February 1, 2023
The two stars with Michigan roots have something else in common: Brady rented Jeter's house in Tampa when he joined the Buccaneers as a free agent. (That is ... until Jeter decided to put the house on the market.)
Brady was also a baseball player, even getting drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1995.
Another Baseball Hall of Famer, Frank Thomas, said, "The NFL quarterback standard will always be compared to your heroics."
Congratulations Tom Brady on an unreal career! Greatness hardly sums up of what you accomplished. The NFL quarterback standard will always be compared to your heroics! Thanks It was a pleasure to watch for so many years.#TheGoat
— Frank Thomas (@TheBigHurt_35) February 1, 2023
Teams, leagues honor the GOAT
For all the rings.
For all the touchdowns.
For all the memories.
Thank you for everything, @TomBrady. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Ixy3VeymIP
— NFL (@NFL) February 1, 2023
Quite the ride indeed.
Thank you again, @TomBrady. https://t.co/F47CHUQT7p
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) February 1, 2023
We'll never forget @TomBrady's ring ceremony speech 💍🐐 pic.twitter.com/SHvNvu9foC
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 1, 2023
All those Super Bowl rings
Emmanuel Acho, former NFL player and now NFL analyst, points out Brady's seven Super Bowl wins are more than any NFL franchise has.
Tom Brady, the greatest ever, has retired. Where do we even start… pic.twitter.com/iuO1KRZEU6
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) February 1, 2023
Next stop, Canton?
Just in case you're wondering ...
Should this morning’s retirement announcement truly be the end of @TomBrady’s illustrious career, 2028 is a year worth noting. pic.twitter.com/w6xIaYKDe2
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) February 1, 2023
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tom Brady retirement announcement: Sports world, Twitter react