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Tom Brady ends his football playing days, but he's not done with the sport

Tom Brady attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Paramount Pictures' <em>80 For Brady</em> presented by Smirnoff ICE at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles.
Phillip Faraone
Getty Images for Paramount Pictures
Tom Brady attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Paramount Pictures' 80 For Brady presented by Smirnoff ICE at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles.

On the football field, quarterback Tom Brady has just about done it all.

For almost a quarter of a century, Brady piled up dozens and dozens of NFL regular season, playoff and Super Bowl passing records. So what does an athlete with nothing left to prove do next? It seems like he's going to spend the next decade talking about it on TV.

"I think he's going to be a terrific analyst."

Micheal McCarthy of Front Office Sports spoke to NPR's Steve Inskeep about what Brady is expected to do next.

After his first retirement last February, Fox executive chair and CEO Lachlan Murdoch announced in a statement in May that Brady would join Fox Sports as their lead analyst "immediately following his playing career."

But on Monday, Brady said his start date as a sports broadcasterat Fox Sports won't be until the fall of 2024.

As far as what Brady brings to the broadcast booth, McCarthy says it's pretty much everything we've seen him do on the field.

"Who could tell you more about how to win a Super Bowl than Tom Brady? He's won more than any other franchise, seven titles. Who could tell you more about a two-minute drill? So I think it's a great move."

It's a move that comes with cash, lots of it. The NY Post reports Brady and Fox Sportshave agreed on a 10-year deal worth 375 million to be their lead analyst. That's more than double what former quarterbacks turned broadcasters Tony Romo and Troy Aikman make. If he plays out the entire deal he will make more than he made over his 23-year football playing career. ($333 mil/23 NFL seasons—$375 mil/10 Fox Sports seasons)

But Fox Sports bosses also want Brady to play a bigger role.

"He's not just going to be a broadcaster," says McCarthy.

"Lachlan Murdoch actually calls him an ambassador, which means he's going to be involved in everything from sales to marketing to strategy. He's really going to be almost an executive as well as a broadcaster. And I think it's a smart move. If you're General Motors and you're in a meeting and you're trying to decide to buy a Super Bowl spot and Tom Brady comes in to finish the deal, you're going to sign on the dotted line."

In football, it's easy for players like Brady to measure success. Passing for touchdowns and winning many games are obvious ways to gauge effectiveness but none of that gives a clue of how Brady will do in front of the camera when he's not playing football.

"I think he's going to actually surprise people," says McCarthy. "I think once he got away from Darth Belichick (Brady's coach with the Patriots Bill Belichick) and the suffocating environment in New England, you saw his sense of humor. You saw his timing. You sort of saw the fun-loving nature."

Brady has played in films like Entourage, Ted 2 and the just released 80 for Brady. He also hosted Saturday Night Live in 2005.

Of course, all of this depends on whether Brady actually stays retired. He famously retired at the end of last season, only to unretire 40 days later. Fans can be sure they will see Brady next year — the only question is whether he will wear headphones or a helmet.

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A Martínez
A Martínez is one of the hosts of Morning Edition and Up First. He came to NPR in 2021 and is based out of NPR West.
Ziad Buchh
Ziad Buchh is a producer for NPR's Morning Edition and Up First. In addition to producing and directing the broadcast, he has also contributed to the show's sports, tech and video game coverage. He's produced and reported from all over the country, including a Trump rally, and from the temporary home of Ukrainian refugees.