TAMPA ― Tom Brady’s retirement plans are now in ink.
The Bucs quarterback has filed a letter with the NFL and the players union, making his Feb. 1 retirement official, the Tampa Bay Times confirmed.
It’s a step that Brady did not take after announcing his retirement at this time a year ago, and his retirement ended 40 days later when he returned to the Bucs.
By filing the letter, Brady becomes eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2028.
Nine days ago, Brady distributed a video on social media that lasted less than a minute, emotionally announcing the end of his 23-season playing career by saying this time it was “for good.”
“I’ll get to the point right away,” Brady, 45, said in a video posted to Twitter on Feb. 1. “I’m retiring for good. I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning, I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first.”
Why submit paperwork now?
Among other things, It begins the process of severing marketing agreements with the NFL and the NFL Players Association for Brady, who sold a lot of merchandise for the league for more than two decades.
Less clear is the impact it could have on the Bucs’ salary cap. Tampa Bay is $55 million over the $224.8 million cap for 2023, with $35 million in dead money counting against their space for Brady.
Brady’s official retirement could make it more difficult for the Bucs to spread that dead money over the next two years.
Perhaps more importantly to Brady, it could quell speculation that he still has an interest in playing next season. His job as the lead NFL analyst on Fox doesn’t begin until the fall of 2024.
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