Tom Brady could face a bumpy retirement when it comes to finances, as the NFL legend struggles to disentangle his budding business empire from troubled crypto ventures including the doomed FTX exchange.
Brady, 45, gave no immediate hint at his post-football plans while confirming that he was “retiring for good” in a 53-second video announcement posted to his social media accounts on Wednesday.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion is embroiled in legal drama after serving as a key early booster and brand ambassador for FTX, whose disgraced founder Sam Bankman-Fried is accused of bilking customers out of billions.
Brady and his ex-wife, Gisele Bündchen, were among a group of celebrity FTX endorsers named in a class-action lawsuit last November. The suit alleges that FTX used Brady and other famous backers to lure unsuspecting investors into what was effectively a Ponzi scheme.
Brady also co-founded the NFT marketplace Autograph — a platform that once counted Bankman-Fried as a board member and drew steady interest from investors before a tech-sector meltdown upended various crypto-focused startups.
Autograph didn’t avoid the industrywide slump. In December, the Brady-backed startup cited “challenges of the market” after it laid off “dozens” of employees, Insider reported. Bankman-Fried’s name also quietly disappeared from Autograph’s website, though the exact timeline for his exit from the board wasn’t clear.
Brady was front and center in FTX’s marketing efforts — once appearing in a Fourth of July video in which he used a flamethrower to melt a block of ice with a cryptocurrency token inside. When FTX filed for bankruptcy, Brady quietly deleted all of his tweets related to the company.
Last month, court filings revealed that Brady held more than 1.1 million common shares of FTX at the time of its bankruptcy, while Bündchen has more than 686,000 common shares. Forbes estimated that Brady’s stake was worth $45 million before FTX’s collapse rendered it worthless.
In December, longtime New England Patriots fan Michael Livieratos sued Brady, alleging the NFL legend’s involvement with FTX led him to dump nearly his entire life savings into the bankrupt platform.
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Troubled crypto ventures are just one consideration for Brady, who parlayed his on-field success into one of the most lucrative brands in the history of US sports. He is the NFL’s all-time earnings leader, with more than $500 million in total earnings on and off the field, according to Forbes’ calculations.
During his 23-year NFL career with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady earned more than $332 million in salary and bonuses, according to Spotrac.
Brady already has a lucrative TV gig lined up in the form of a 10-year, $375 million deal with Fox Sports. Signed last year, the deal was slated to kick in whenever Brady hung up his cleats and make him the highest-paid sports commentator ever.
Brady expressed excitement for a potential future in broadcasting during a recent episode of his “Let’s Go!” podcast.
“I get an opportunity to be in a job in the future where I get to travel around and learn from all the other people that I’ve looked up to and admired and different organizations and different people,” Brady said. “So it’s exciting for me too. I feel like the opportunity to do that is something that I’m really looking forward to whenever that time comes.”
Elsewhere, Brady has his own fitness and lifestyle brand, TB12. Brady’s portfolio includes a bevy of endorsements from notable brands that include Subway, Hertz and Under Armour.
The NFL legend has also dabbled in Hollywood. He is set to star alongside famed actresses Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field in the upcoming comedy “80 For Brady,” which is set for release later this year. The movie is produced by 199 Productions, a firm that Brady founded.