Brady alluded to as much during his “Let’s Go!” podcast on Monday, February 7.
“You know, I’m just gonna take things as they come,” Brady told podcast host Jim Gray. “I think that’s the best way to put it, and I don’t think anything, you know, you never say never. At the same time I know that I’m very, I feel very good about my decision.”
Brady, 44, announced his retirement via Instagram on Feb. 1 after previously talking about family as a major reason to consider calling it a career. He completed his 22nd season in the NFL after throwing for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns, which put him in the running for MVP. With the season just ending, it’s a ways off before Brady will get to experience a new season starting without suiting up.
“I don’t know how I’ll feel six months from now … it most likely won’t,” Brady added. “But I try to make the best possible decision I can in the moment, which I did this last week. And, again, I think it’s not looking to reverse course, I’m definitely not looking to do that.”
“But in the same time I think you have to be realistic that you never know what challenges there are gonna be in life,” Brady continued. “Again, I loved playing. I’m looking forward to doing things other than playing. That’s as honest as I can be.”
Brady has shifted his focus to family and numerous business ventures for now.
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Brady: ‘I Loved Playing More Than They Loved Watching Me’
Brady left no doubt how much he enjoys playing football and his decision came down to balancing commitments versus an ability to keep playing. He also talked with Gray about the outpouring of appreciation since announcing his retirement on Feb. 1, but Brady was quick to credit others involved in his career.
“I was fortunate to do it for a long time, for 22 years,” Brady told Gray. “I did it at the highest level and I had the best teammates and mentors and coaches and friends.”
“I’m grateful for all the amazing relationships that I’ve had,” Brady added. “What it means to me is I’ve impacted people’s lives and certainly they’ve impacted mine, too. So whether those were teammates of mine or competitors of mine there was so much mutual respect.”
Brady added that he’s “glad so many people enjoyed watching me play over the years.”
“Believe me, I loved playing more than they loved watching me,” Brady told Gray. “So for as many people that loved watching me play, I enjoyed playing the game and being in there much more than people actually enjoyed watching me play.”
Brady: ‘Just The Right Time’
Because Brady played into his mid 40s, balancing ever-increasing commitments as a husband, father, football, and businessman simply became more challenging.
“I think the choice is, everything certainly comes at a cost, and the cost is what am I missing out on other aspects of my life?,” Brady told Gray. “And things that are, as you get older, you experience things that are outside of the sport that demand the level of attention and energy that football has always gotten. And it’s time for me to commit to those types of things.”
Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, has been encouraging retirement for years. He acknowledged that “it pains her to see me get hit” out there during the Jan. 24 podcast.
In addition, Brady has three school-age children: Vivian, 9; Benjamin, 12; and Jack, 14. Brady and Bundchen had the younger two together, but Jack lives in New York with his mother and Brady’s previous girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan.
“A lot of things have come up over the years in the last 10 years of my life as I’ve got closer to this decision this last week and it just in the end felt like it was just the right time to do it,” Brady added. “I think for anyone who loves the sport like I have over the years it’ll always be in my heart, as it should be, because I’ve committed a lot of time and energy and hours to it. But at the same time, there’s a time and place for everything.”
“I’ve had an amazing time and place doing it and I’m just, I am really excited for what’s ahead and I don’t know what that means or where it takes me, but I know that it’ll be fun and exciting and I’m gonna make the most of whatever opportunities present themselves as I go forward,” he said.