“And lastly to my wife, Gisele, and my children, Jack, Benny and Vivi. You are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement,” Brady wrote in his retirement message via Instagram on Tuesday, February 1.
Brady often talked about his family being a main factor in whether or not he would continue to play in the NFL. He walks away literally at the top of his game at 44 years of age with league highs in passing yards, 5,316, and touchdowns, 43, to invest more in his family.
In his Jan. 24 “Let’s Go!” podcast, he called his family his “biggest supporters” in his NFL career. They were the first people he looked for after any game.
“I always came off the field and home to the most loving and supportive wife who has done everything for our family to allow me to focus on my career,” Brady wrote on Feb. 1. “Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally, and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family. Te amo amor da minha vida.”
Wife’s Letter Moves Brady to Compromise
In 2017, Bundchen went on air multiple times to express her hopes of Brady retiring soon.
Brady didn’t retire, but the power couple worked through their differences in marriage counseling according to Life & Style. A letter from Bundchen then further sealed Brady’s refocus on his family.
“A couple of years ago, [Gisele] didn’t feel like I was doing my part for the family,” Brady said in an April 2020 interview with Howard Stern via Life & Style.
“She actually wrote me a letter, and it was a very thought-out letter that she wrote to me, and I still have it and I keep it in a drawer, and I read it,” Brady added. “It’s a very heartfelt letter for her to say this is where I’m at in our marriage, and it’s a good reminder for me that things are going to change and evolve over time. What happened and what worked for us 10 years ago won’t work for us forever because we are growing in different ways.'”
Brady made a big change in going to Tampa Bay since Bundchen didn’t want to stay in the northeast according to a source via Life & Style. Meanwhile, Brady’s goal of playing until 45 faded as he spoke more about wanting time with his family in 2021 — even for the holidays when NFL teams are often playing or practicing.
Brady Knew the Football Grind Had to Go
Brady’s regime to prepare for an NFL season required so much, even his offseasons weren’t reserved just for family. He acknowledged that in his 2020 interview with Stern via Life & Style.
Jay Feely, a close friend and former college teammate of Brady’s, called Brady’s off-field work “all-consuming”.
“For Tom, it’s not about his play on the field,” Feely, a former NFL kicker, told the New York Post. “It’s the daily grind, and for him that was all-consuming for 23 hours every day. People don’t know all the injuries he worked through every year. He won the Super Bowl last year with a torn MCL in his knee. He doesn’t have the desire anymore to do all it takes in the offseason to get himself ready again to play at that level.”
Brady acknowledged just that in his Instagram post.
“There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life,” Brady wrote. “I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”