Tom Brady officially announces that he's retiring from NFL football

NFC South will look dramatically different next season with Brady, Sean Payton gone

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UPDATE (Feb. 1, 2022, 9:50 a.m.): Tom Brady officially announced his retirement from NFL football on Instagram. Here's his statement on stepping away after winning seven Super Bowl, which you can read by cycling through his carousel.

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Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, arguably the greatest football player of all time, is reportedly retiring. ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington broke that news on Saturday afternoon, citing multiple sources.

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Brady and the Bucs were eliminated from the the NFC playoffs' divisional round on Sunday by the L.A. Rams. Discussion about a possible retirement came up before the Rams game, and this ESPN report says his time playing NFL football has come to a close.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion -- his last title came with the Buccaneers in the 2020 season -- will reportedly retire with three NFL MVP awards in his possession.

Brady's agent, Don Yee, wouldn't confirm or deny the report, only saying that Brady's official word matters most.

His reported departure would certainly shake up the NFC South, with the Buccaneers suddenly needing a quarterback and without the very best. The New Orleans Saints also received some stunning news this week with head coach Sean Payton officially stepping down from his spot.

The aforementioned developments leave the divisional hierarchy uncertain, with the two top teams in transition. The Falcons have undergone theirs in 2021, with new head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot.

ESPN's Brady news is by far the biggest, portending the end of an illustrious career that featured championships, most of which came with the New England Patriots. He also owns several records, including most wins by a quarterback (243) and most passing yards of all time (84,520).

While there were some reports pushing back against the report, including statements from Brady's father, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport stated that retirement remains in the quarterback's plans.

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