The NFL wasn’t even without Tom Brady for two months before the legendary quarterback decided to come back.
The seven-time Super Bowl winner considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time announced on Sunday night that he will return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 23rd season after retiring on January 29.
“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” Brady tweeted. “That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG.”
Speculation began growing after a well-circulated video from Brady’s Instagram surfaced. The future Hall of Famer and his son visited with soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo following Manchester United’s 3-2 Premier League victory over Tottenham on Saturday.
Ronaldo appeared to be asking Brady if his football playing days are really over, to which Brady didn’t say no:
— The Athlete Show (@TheAthleteShow) March 13, 2022
Brady announced his retirement shortly after his Buccaneers were eliminated in the NFC Divisional Round by the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.
“I have always believed the sport of football is an “all-in” proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” Brady wrote at the time. “There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge every single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.
“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”
Brady has nothing else to prove as he holds a bevy of NFL records over his 22-year career with the New England Patriots and Buccaneers. He holds league marks in passing yards (84,520), passing touchdowns (624), and Super Bowls won (7) — which is more than every single team in the league. He’s a five-time Super Bowl MVP, three-time league MVP, and a 15-time Pro Bowler.