Larry Fitzgerald Says Tom Brady Is 'Happy' After 'Poetic' Retirement Announcement

"You start prioritizing," the recently retired NFL wide receiver and Let's Go! with Tom Brady podcast co-host says of what it's like to end a career in the league

If anyone can relate to Tom Brady's feelings on his recent retirement, it's future Hall of Famer, Larry Fitzgerald, who's supporting his pal during the next stage of his life.

"I talk to Tom once a week," Fitzgerald, 39, told PEOPLE exclusively at the On Location Hospitality Suite during Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona. "We have our podcast together and I knew it was coming to that time. We spent a lot of time, last off season in particular, together, and when you get to be that age, you've accomplished so much and you start prioritizing."

"For him, it wasn't about him playing or not playing. I just want him to be happy. At the end of the day, you just want the best for your friends, and if he's internally grateful about the decision that he made, then I support him 100%."

The former Arizona Cardinals wide out has said he's not quite retired, but last took the field in 2020 after playing 17 seasons with the same team that drafted him out of the University of Pittsburgh in 2004.

Larry Fitzgerald
Christian Petersen/Getty

Much like Brady, Fitzgerald was still playing at a high caliber level, but started questioning what was most important in life.

"'Is winning the Super Bowl more than spending time with my family?' " Fitzgerald recalls asking himself. "'Do I have to go to a different city to relocate?' You start making those type of decisions when you get a little bit older."

Brady announced he was retiring on Feb. 1, 2022, only to take it back and lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for one more season. A year later, he posted a low-key, emotional video announcing he was retiring once more, this time for good.

Tom Brady #12 of Tampa Bay Buccaneers answers questions at a press conference following the 2022 Buccaneers minicamp at AdventHealth Training Center on June 09, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
Tom Brady. Julio Aguilar/Getty

"Even in the video he said, you can't have two emotional goodbyes, right?" Fitzgerald said with a smile. "But I thought it was poetic the way he did it, sitting there on the beach. That's Tom though. You get to know him [and] he's just a really down to earth, humble, hardworking man. Anybody that met him, the person, you would love him."

Larry Fitzgerald
Courtesy Alive Coverage

Fitzgerald, who stays busy being a father of 3, working as a commentator on ESPN's Monday Night Football and co-hosting the weekly podcast with Brady and Jim Gray. The NFL Legend also keeps in close proximity to his loyal fans, most recently teaming up with On Location during Super Bowl LVII, where he made special appearances throughout the weekend to make guests feel like ultimate VIPs.

Now, Fitzgerald is looking forward to spending even more time with Brady now that he's hung up his cleats for good.

"We do play golf," Fitzgerald says. "We play pickleball. He's an owner of a pickleball team just like I am, and so we have a little banter. We get out there in the courts from time to time."

Larry Fitzgerald
Courtesy Alive Coverage

Like any good friend, Fitzgerald, who also pours his heart into helping raise funds for youth education and breast cancer awareness, just wants the best for Brady.

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"Every time we talk, every time I see him on camera he's smiling and our texts back and forth, he's happy," the head of the Larry Fitzgerald Foundation says. "He seems like he's fulfilled and he's content, and I think that's the biggest thing. But like I said, I just want him to be. If he said he wanted to come back and play? God bless you brother. I'm going to support you. If you say you don't want to do anymore? God bless you. I'm going to support you. I just want him to be happy."

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