BOSTON – Tom Brady won his fifth Super Bowl in dramatic fashion on Sunday night, leading his team back from a 28-3 deficit while throwing for 466 yards and two touchdowns to earn game MVP. It was such a historic and dominating performance that those throughout the NFL believe there is no better time for Brady to walk away from the sport forever.
“I can’t imagine ending a career in a better way,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. “Leading a game-winning, walk-off drive in the Super Bowl? How can it get better than that? It can’t. For complete unselfish reasons, I think it would be really sad if Tom continues to play.”
Coaches, general managers and players across the NFL have echoed those feelings in recent days.
“Look, Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all-time,” said Falcons QB Matt Ryan. “He has nothing more to prove. If he keeps playing and wins five more Super Bowls in the next five years, he’ll still be the greatest quarterback of all-time. Nothing will have changed. What he needs to do is quit immediately and never look back. Leave!”
Brady, who will turn 40 before next season, has so far shown no signs of slowing down or of considering retirement. But that could change if the NFL Players Association has its way. According to executive director DeMaurice Smith, current players will vote this week on a plan that will give 10-percent of their future pensions directly to Brady if he retires before the 2017 and convinces Bill Belichick to retire with him.
“We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars over the rest of his life,” Smith said. “The offer will stand until kickoff of Week 1 in September.”
But it’s unlikely the plan will work.
“I appreciate the offer,” said Brady. “I do. But there’s more I want to accomplish in football. The walk-off play was a run, and it’s kind of my new dream to throw for a Super Bowl winning TD in overtime. So I’ll be back to do that next year.”