How Tom Brady Really Plans To Live In Retirement

NFL legend Tom Brady took to Instagram on February 1, 2022, to announce his retirement. The announcement was expected by many fans following speculation and rumors regarding the player's departure from football. Brady's long-standing football career lasted for 22 seasons, during which time he became one of the New England Patriots' most notable players. The quarterback played for the team for 20 years before signing a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady reportedly left the Patriots due to frustration with his contract. Sports writer Seth Wickersham offered a possible explanation in his book "It's Better to Be Feared." He wrote: "Brady was tired of taking team-friendly deals with no input into how the money saved was spent — and still wanted a long-term contractual commitment."

Perhaps plans for his eventual retirement could have prompted Brady's decision. After all, his contract with the Buccaneers allowed him more input over his future. This seems like a smarter move for a player contemplating retirement.

It seems that Brady has been thinking about leaving the NFL for a while now, so he's likely had plenty of time to decide how he'll spend his days as a retired player. Many ex-NFL stars go on to pursue business ventures or nonprofits after football. Will Brady follow in their footsteps, or will he define his own path? The former quarterback has already given a few hints as to what he might do next. Here's how Tom Brady really plans to live in retirement.

He might shift his focus to his NFT startup

Prior to announcing his retirement, Tom Brady launched the non-fungible token platform Autograph alongside business partner Richard Rosenblatt. The platform sells digital collectibles — including autographs and sports memorabilia — to fans in the form of NFTs. It seems that Brady has had plans to expand the business from the start. "We created Autograph as a way for fans and collectors to own a piece of iconic moments in sports and entertainment through authenticated and official digital collectibles and we are just getting started," Brady noted, per DraftKings.

We now know that this is at least one of the business ventures Brady will focus on as a retired athlete. He mentioned the business in his retirement announcement on Instagram, saying he was "excited to continue to help build and grow" Autograph and his other companies. It seems that the platform has a great deal of potential. Forbes indicated that Autograph is likely attractive to investors in the rapidly-growing NFT space. Sports stars like tennis player Naomi Osaka are already partnered with Autograph, so imagine where Brady will be able to take the platform now that he is no longer fully immersed in football. As the athlete wrote on IG, "The future is exciting."

Tom Brady is entering the fashion industry

In his farewell Instagram post, Tom Brady mentioned his clothing line, Brady Brand. This line will be one of his focuses as a newly-retired athlete. Brady launched the brand in January 2022, and its site describes the line as "the first technical apparel brand to apply two decades of pro sports level innovation and engineering to create a system of clothing that performs across every activity." A quick browse through the website shows that Brady Brand sells simple yet unique athleisure basics, including sweatshirts, sweatpants, T-shirts, athletic shorts, and more.

The former quarterback unveiled Brady Brand with an Instagram post that featured photos from the line's first campaign. He shared in part: "I'm proud to partner with this lineup of NCAA and newly drafted athletes for the first BRADY campaign. These hardworking and driven players embody the spirit and ethos in which this brand was founded." The NFL star explained that the brand utilized athlete expertise to craft high-performing clothing "from training to living." According to Gulf News, the apparel is made from breathable fabrics that are ideal for athletes in motion. Brady may be more prepared to enter the competitive athleisure space now that he has more time to dedicate to Brady Brand.

TB12 Sports requires Tom Brady's attention

Wellness company TB12 Sports is also part of Tom Brady's post-retirement plan. He listed the company as one of the ventures he will work on moving forward, in his NFL retirement announcement. Brady co-founded TB12 Sports alongside Alex Guerrero in 2013. Guerrero was Brady's body coach, and the two realized that the methods they developed to aid Brady's wellness could be packaged and sold to a larger demographic. "TB12 is really a holistic approach to optimize pain management, performance, and recovery, with a focus on nutrition, hydration, and movement — and it can be applied to anyone," Guerrero said in an interview with One37pm.

According to Sports Illustrated, the TB12 Sports Twitter account posted and quickly deleted a tweet recognizing Brady's retirement prior to his official announcement. It is unclear why the company took the tweet down, but it could be because Brady had not yet released a public statement about his NFL departure at the time the tweet was posted. Given that the company seemingly confirmed Brady's retirement before he did, the athlete may have made plans to dedicate his days in retirement to TB12 Sports early on.

The NFL star wants to give back

Tom Brady made it clear that charity work is on his list of priorities as a newly-retired athlete. He wrote on Instagram: "I know for sure I want to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people's lives, just as so many have done for me." Many Tom Brady fans know the athlete has already gotten a head start on giving back. 

According to Borgen Magazine, the former NFL player has worked with Best Buddies International, which helps those with intellectual and developmental disabilities make friends and land jobs. Brady has also traveled with Debt AIDS Trade Africa (DATA), which utilizes U.S. funding to rebuild communities and increase health care access in Africa. The executive director of DATA, Jamie Drummond, said: "We were thrilled that he wanted to spend time on the ground in Africa and learn more about how debt relief and U.S. funding to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty is making a difference — life by life, community by community," per One. Brady was seemingly moved by the experience, sharing that his trip "was an eye-opener. I saw the best and brightest of the human spirit in the face of incredible poverty that most of us just can't comprehend."

The athlete has his own charity, the TB12 Foundation. The nonprofit provides health resources for athletes who are at-risk or are facing hardships. Perhaps Brady will expand the resources the TB12 Foundation offers.

Now Tom Brady can focus on family

Tom Brady is a family man. He doesn't hesitate to gush about his wife, Gisele Bündchen, and his three children. Brady opened up about his relationship with Bündchen on an episode of ESPN series "Man in the Arena." He shared: "She's just been an incredible supporter of mine on the field, off the field, and I learned so much about her in an early part of our relationship" (via the New York Post). Bündchen similarly gushed, "I never met a guy that is so sweet, and so gentle and honorable. Just how he is, you know. That I felt like, 'Oh, I think I have to really think about this." It appears the couple's relationship has remained strong over the years, despite being in the public eye.

With the obvious love in the Brady household, fans probably aren't surprised that the athlete is glad to spend more time with his wife and children now that he's no longer traveling for football. He wrote in the post he shared on Instagram, "Our family is my greatest achievement. 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. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally, and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family."

Tom Brady might further explore endorsements

Top athletes like Tom Brady make millions each year from endorsements. There is a possibility that Brady will further explore endorsements now that he is retired. According to Forbes, the athlete earned $350 million during his time with the NFL. While most of these earnings came from Brady's football salary, he also brought in wealth from working with major brands like Under Armour, with whom he partnered to release a clothing and shoe line.

It turns out Under Armour may have gotten lucky with bringing Brady on board, because the NFL star has been very picky about his endorsements. Burns Entertainment (which works with celebrities looking for endorsement deals) CEO Doug Shabelman spoke with The Athletic on Brady's strategy. He explained: "This was somebody who had every opportunity to go out and do 1,000 deals. But he decided this is not where he wants to go. 'I'm very cautious about my ... I want my career to come first.'" Brady seemingly took more of an interest in business partnerships after leaving the Patriots and signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, perhaps because he knew he was approaching retirement.

Will Tom Brady return to football?

Although Tom Brady is excited about retirement, there is already some speculation that he may return to the NFL in a few years. These rumors might not be as far-fetched as some may think, as the athlete made the decision to leave the sport while seemingly still in good shape. Many professional football players retire due to injuries or physical restrictions that mean they're done for good. Brady does not fall into these categories.

Sports commentator Tony Romo offered a prediction on what moves he believes the quarterback will make after retirement. "I think sneakily, there's a chance that Tom Brady retires and may, I'm just saying, could come back in two years," Romo said on "CBS Mornings" (via Sports Illustrated). "This is just crazy but he's like a bionic man. If he is right, well he's not hurt, he's still playing great. He may need to refresh like Jordan, and go two years away, and maybe start another challenge. Because otherwise he has nothing else to prove." 

Brady has yet to make any mention of a future return, and for now, seems to be focused on his family and many business endeavors. Is an NFL return entirely out of the question for one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time?