Tom Brady, revered by many as the NFL’s greatest-ever quarterback, reversed his decision from last month to retire, saying Sunday that he couldn’t bear to be a spectator.
His time as a retired NFL player barely lasted 40 days.
“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” tweeted Brady, 44. “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.”
In his tweet he used an acronym, including an expletive, for charging forward. “Unfinished business LFG,” Brady said.
The NFL tweeted simply, “He’s back.”
On Feb. 1, Brady ended speculation by officially announcing he would hang it up to focus on family and other facets of life he suggested had been neglected.
Brady explained on his “Let’s Go” podcast a week after the announcement that he felt fine, physically, but that he also felt he was missing out a life broader than the gridiron.
“A lot of things have come up over the years, in the last 10 years of my life, as I got closer to this decision this last week, and it just in the end felt like it was just the right time to do it, “Brady said.
However, he left his options open.
“You never say never,” he said on the podcast. “And you know, at the same time, I know that I’m very, I feel very good about my decision. So, I don’t know how I’ll feel six months from now. It could change.”
Brady is married to model Gisele Bündchen and has three children, including one with actor and former girlfriend Bridget Moynahan.
The Buccaneers closed out the last season in late January with a playoff loss to the eventual champions, the Los Angeles Rams. The team had a franchise high for regular season wins: 13-4.
Brady walked away with the game’s passing-yards high mark: 84,520. Brady’s career win-loss record was 243-73. He completed 7,263 passes on 11,317 attempts.
Brady’s retirement, and that of Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, provided contrast for the Super Bowl one month ago, which displayed a changing of the guard.
It was only the fourth Super Bowl in 21 seasons that didn’t feature Brady, Roethlisberger or Peyton Manning, who retired in 2016.
Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow, 25 displayed agility on the ground and in the air before the Rams enjoyed a fourth-quarter comeback engineered by the youngest coach ever to win a Super Bowl, 36-year-old Sean McVay.
On that podcast in February, Brady addressed the issue of his age, a number now twice as great as some of the players he’ll face around fall.
“I don’t think it’s, you know, a physical thing,” Brady said. “I mean, it does require a lot of time and energy. You know, it’s just the nature of football and if you want to be good at it, you got to commit all the time and energy you can to it.”
Courtney Brogle contributed.