In a recent interview, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady opened up about his decision to come out of retirement less than two months after announcing he was hanging up his cleats for good.
On Monday, Brady spoke with ESPN where he said he knew he had a bit left in the tank. As the NFL’s free agency period began in March, the legendary QB started to think about his return. Brady said a combination of his love for football and knowing he could still physically compete convinced him he was ready for at least one more season behind center.
“I knew my body, physically, could still do what it could do. Obviously I have a love for the game, I think I’ll always have a love for the game,” Tom Brady said. “I do think physically I’ll be able to do it. I just felt like there was still a place for me on the field.”
The seven-time Super Bowl champion announced his retirement on February 1 after years of speculation about when he might leave the game. Countless teammates, coaches, rivals, and fans immediately shared congratulatory messages for his iconic 22-year career. As he entered retirement, Brady spent time with his famous wife, Gisele Bündchen, and their children. However, he started get the itch once again that he could still play and compete at an elite level.
That’s when Tom Brady started to have second thoughts about his retirement. He began to have discussions with some of the people he became close to during his time in Tampa. Brady spoke with then-Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, who has since retired himself. Following multiple conversations, Brady knew he wasn’t quite done playing just yet.
Last Season’s ‘Bitter Ending’ Fueled Tom Brady to Return From Retirement
While speaking with ESPN, Tom Brady shared a few more reasons why he’s returning to the gridiron. He shared how much he loves his teammates in Tampa and that he’s excited for new challenges that the team will face with a new head coach. As mentioned, Arians abruptly retired and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will now take the reins.
While promoting Bowles should allow for a smooth transition within a similar system, every new regime comes with at least some minor changes. Between a set of new challenges and a desire to reach the pinnacle of the sport once again, Tom Brady was all-in. Plus, last season’s playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams didn’t sit well with him.
“At the end of the day, I just love the competition on the field,” Tom Brady about coming out of retirement. “And last year was a very bitter ending to a season. We’ve got to make a lot of corrections to try to improve and put ourselves in a better position to succeed moving forward.”
Yet Brady knows his time in the NFL is nearing its end. He’s very aware he has a limited window of opportunity to play football and wants to make the best of it while he can.
“I know I don’t have a lot left, I really do, I know I’m at the end of my career,” Brady said. “I wish you could go forever, but it’s just not and football comes at too high of a cost now. My kids are getting older and it’s just getting harder and harder to miss these things.
“But, I wanted to give myself and my teammates and our organization another incredible opportunity to accomplish something that we’d all be very proud of.”