Brady, 44, confirmed the news on social media on Tuesday following reports over the weekend that he would be retiring.
The quarterback, regarded as the greatest in NFL history, retires after a legendary career which saw him win a record seven Super Bowl titles.
“I have always believed the sport of football is an "all-in" proposition - if a 100 percent competitive commitment isn't there, you won't succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” Brady said in a lengthy statement.
“There is physical, mental, and emotional challenge every single day that has allowed me to maximise my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.
“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.
“My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100 percent of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”
After 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, in which Brady and coach Bill Belichick created the greatest dynasty in NFL history by winning six Super Bowl rings, the quarterback moved to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and won a record seventh Super Bowl title last season.
The Bucs were defeated by the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs two weeks ago, in what is now the final game of Brady’s career. As well as a record seven Super Bowl titles, Brady retires as the all-time leader in touchdown passes and passing yards - a record he broke in October against his former team.
Brady, who was famously selected with the 199th pick of the NFL Draft in 2000, paid thanks to his family and Tampa Bay teammates in the post, but did not mention his former team in New England.
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