When Tom Brady officially announced his retirement on Feb. 1, he didn't really offer any specific reason for why he decided to call it quits after 23 seasons. In the days since his announcement, Brady has said one reason he's walking away is because it's the "right time."
Although Brady hasn't gone into too much detail about his decision, his dad did reveal one reason why his son decided to retire. During an interview with ESPN's Mike Greenberg on Monday, Tom Brady Sr. was asked what made this "the right time" for his son to retire and his answer was somewhat interesting. Basically, the elder Brady feels that part of the reason for his son's retirement was due to the fact that the seven-time Super Bowl winner was tired of taking hit after hit.
"This has been a really rough six months on his personal life, his family life, on his football life," Brady Sr. said of his son. "He once said this, he said, 'I'm getting tired of getting hit.' You know, having played 23 years and he holds the ignominious record of most sacks [taken] in the NFL -- I think 600 or 700 sacks -- and there must be another two or three thousand knockdowns."
As Brady Sr. points out, that's a lot of hits. Brady was sacked a total of 565 times in the regular season, which is the NFL record for sacks taken. When you combine that with his postseason sacks (81), that means Brady has been sacked a total of 646 times. That's an absurdly high number when you consider that only one other QB in NFL history has even been sacked 590 times and that's Ben Roethlisberger (607).
With Brady getting older, it seems that the hits were starting to take a bigger toll.
"At 45 years of age, you say, 'Hey, do I want to get hit one more time,'" Brady Sr. said. "The answer's really 'No, I really don't want to unless everything's clicking.' Unfortunately, it wasn't clicking this year and I think it was a foregone conclusion [that he would retire]."
The younger Brady mentioned several times on Monday that he's retiring because it's the "right time."
"There's always gonna be a part [of me] that wants to play and a part of me that, you know, feels like I can play," Brady said on the Let's Go podcast, via PFT. "I think there's just a decision to know that it's the right time. So I think for me it's more of just, it's gonna end at some point, and I think now's the time. 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. So I think it's just a decision that it's time to do other things."
Of course, no one should assume that Brady is retired until he actually sits out an entire season. Last year, Brady announced his retirement on Feb. 1, only to return 40 days later.
So could Brady do the same thing this year? He was asked directly by Colin Cowherd if there's a 1% chance that he might come back and play and although he gave a long-winded answer, he never said no, so it seems that the door is at least slightly open for a return, even if it seems unlikely at this point.