New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says it is “pretty unlikely” he will retire in the off-season after the Tennessee Titans knocked his side out of the NFL play-offs.
The Titans beat the Patriots, the defending champions, 20-13 in the AFC wildcard game at Foxborough.
Brady, 42, is set to become a free agent for the first time in his career.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. No-one needs to make choices at this point,” he said on Sunday.
Brady has only played for the Patriots in his record-breaking 20-year NFL career.
He has won a record six Super Bowls, including three of the last five, and is widely regarded as the greatest quarterback of all time.
“I love playing football. I’ve loved playing for this team for two decades and winning a lot of games,” Brady added.
“I don’t know what it looks like moving forward, so we’ll just take it day by day.”
Brady’s last pass in what could be his final game for the Patriots was intercepted for a touchdown.
‘We’re focused on this game right now’
When asked if Brady could return next season, head coach Bill Belichick said: “We just finished the game, so we’re focused on this game right now.”
There was speculation Brady would retire when the Patriots lost their final game of the regular season, forcing them to play in the wildcard round of the play-offs for the first time in 10 years.
After playing college football at Michigan, Brady was the 199th pick in the 2000 draft but, under the tutelage of Belichick, he led the Patriots to the most successful era in the franchise’s history.
The pair have won more Super Bowls, regular season and postseason games than any other quarterback-head coach combination in NFL history.
Brady won each of his first three Super Bowls (2002, 2004, 2005) and was the championship game’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) four times, making a total of nine Super Bowl appearances – both NFL records.
He was named as the league’s MVP in 2007, 2010 and 2017, and is second on the all-time list for touchdown passes and passing yards behind current New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
After the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams last year, Brady has won more Super Bowls than any other player and last month was one of only three current players named in the NFL 100 All-Time Team to commemorate the league’s 100th season.
He holds the NFL record for the longest time playing quarterback for one franchise, and has never had a losing season as the starting QB.
Brady’s 2019 season in numbers
- Brady finished the regular season having completed 60.8% of his passes for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions
- He missed out on a Pro Bowl selection for the first time since 2008
- His completion percentage was his lowest since 2004
- His yards per attempt average was his lowest since 2002
Highs and lows
2000 – Watches six quarterbacks selected in the NFL draft before the Patriots choose him in the sixth round.
2001 – Becomes the Patriots’ starting QB after Drew Bledsoe is injured in week two.
2002 – At 24, becomes the youngest QB to win a Super Bowl and the game’s MVP award as the Patriots pull off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history to beat the St Louis Rams 20-17.
2005 – Helps the Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl XXXIX and join the Dallas Cowboys as the only teams in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in four years.
2008 – Loses his first Super Bowl as the Patriots miss the chance to become the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to win every game of the season, losing to the New York Giants.
2008 – Misses the rest of the season after tearing knee ligaments in the Patriots’ opening game.
2012 – Loses his second Super Bowl as the Patriots are again beaten by the Giants.
2015 – Leads the Patriots’ fightback as they beat the Seattle Seahawks, becoming the first team in Super Bowl history to win after trailing by double digits in the second half.
2016 – Banned for four games over ‘deflate-gate’, with Brady alleged to have colluded with team officials to deflate footballs below the allowable limit during a 2015 play-off game.
2017 – Finishes with a then-record 466 passing yards as the Patriots pull off the biggest fightback in Super Bowl history. They trailed the Atlanta Falcons by 25 points in the third quarter but recovered to win 34-28 in overtime.
2018 – Throws for a record 505 yards but the Patriots are still upset 41-33 by the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
2019 – At 41 becomes the oldest player to start, and win, a Super Bowl as the Patriots overcome the LA Rams 13-3.