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Tom Brady Explains Why He 'Almost Retired At 27'

Tom Brady

As Tom Brady's legendary career continues through his 23rd NFL season, Brady revealed an interesting tidbit.

He almost stopped playing football nearly two decades ago.

In a promotional video for his TB12 Foundation and TB12 Sports training program, Brady claimed that he almost retired from football at age 27 due to elbow pain.

"When I was 27, I almost retired from the game of football because of elbow pain," Brady said. Later, he said "now, I'm 45 years old, and I'm still here."

Brady turned 27 shortly before the 2004 NFL season, which saw him and the New England Patriots win their second consecutive Super Bowl and third title in four years.

Even if Brady had finished that season, had he actually walked away from the game of football afterward, he would have cut short a career that has gone on to include 18 more seasons, seven more Super Bowl appearances and four Super Bowl rings. The Patriots' 16-0 2007 never would have happened, nor would Brady's move to Tampa Bay, which saw him win a Super Bowl in his first season with the Bucs.

Brady's incredible career has seen him re-write the NFL record books. During the Bucs' win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, he achieved a new milestone, becoming the first NFL player to pass for more than 100,000 yards.

Brady, of course, did actually retire during the offseason, only to reverse course a month later and return to Tampa Bay. He and the Bucs have struggled this season, starting the year 4-5.

While Brady has been a polarizing figure throughout his career, the NFL wouldn't have been the same without him the past 18 years.