Tom Brady is opening up about his decision to step away from football, for good.
In the first episode of the SiriusXM podcast “Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray” since Brady announced his retirement, the NFL legend details what made him decide “it’s time” to walk away from his 23 season-long career.
When asked how’s retired life, Brady joked: “You know, I’ve done it once before, so I’ve gotta figure this out and get good at this actually.”
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“It’s all pretty new,” he continued. “My friend says, ‘The future happens a day at a time.’ And I think with any great chapter that ends, there’s other great opportunities ahead. And I look forward to exploring a lot of other parts of life that have been put aside for a time.”
While Brady, 45, is “sure” he’ll “feel some different things” as time goes on, he shared that in this moment he’s “doing great, in a great space” and is “excited for what’s ahead.”
The now-retired quarterback added that he’s feeling a bit of “relief because there’s a little bit of a decompression/depressurization.”
“You know, 32 years you’ve been getting ready to prepare for another season,” he explained, “and I think the reality of that probably hasn’t even sunk in yet. So I don’t know how I’ll feel as those moments get closer to a degree, but I’m really happy and content with kind of where we’re at.”
The athlete noted that there will “always be a part [of him] that wants to play and a part that feels like [he] can play,” however “I think there’s just a decision to know that it’s the right time,” he said.
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“And it’s not that I can’t do it. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to do it. It’s not that I wouldn’t be excited to play. I love playing football. I’ve loved playing football since I was a kid on the street on Portola Drive,” Brady continued. “I think it’s just a decision that it’s time to do other things.”
Looking ahead, Brady is excited to “maximize [his] ability in life as a person, as a father, as a son and as a brother and a friend to different things going forward.”
Elsewhere during the interview, he reflected on what long-time New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick did to bring out the best in him since the early days of his career up until the end. Throughout the 20 seasons that Brady played for the Patriots, the two “developed an amazing relationship from the moment I was drafted,” Brady said.
“There’s no way I have the success that I’ve had personally without him and I’m very grateful for that,” he told Belichick, who appeared as a guest, and co-host Gray.
Brady and Gray also welcomed an all-star list of guests to the show, including Brady’s parents, Tom Sr. and Galynn, who said “it’s been a joy” to watch her son play football over the years.
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“I was thinking this morning about his whole career. I was thinking it’s kind of like when you read a really, really good book,” Galynn said. “You know, each chapter is different. One chapter, you cry. The next chapter, you’re laughing. And then you come to the last few pages and it’s like, I don’t want this book to end. Tommy’s career has been a really, really great story.”
“People always say, ‘Oh, you must be so happy to hear that he’s retiring.’ You know, we are happy, but there’s also a sadness that goes with it, too,” she explained, “because I loved watching him run on the field and his enthusiasm and yelling, ‘Let’s go!’”
Brady also received congratulatory messages and well wishes from Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes; professional golfer, Jack Nicklaus; Oprah Winfrey and her long-time partner, author Stedman Graham; former NFL tight end, Rob Gronkowski and Snoop Dogg.
Brady announced his retirement just last week.