Brady announces return to football after 40-day retirement


Hannah Arroyo

Tom Brady in the Patriots 2019 Super Bowl victory parade

Forty days after announcing his retirement from the NFL, Tom Brady posted a statement saying he would be returning to football.

The 43-year-old quarterback will be playing the third year of his contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after playing the first 22 seasons with the New England Patriots.

Brady broke the news over social media Sunday night.

“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” said Brady. “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.”

“Tom Brady loves playing football as much as anyone I have ever been around,” Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians said in a statement. “His place right now is on the football field. He is still playing at a championship level and was as productive as anyone in the league last season. 

Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht shared in his statement that they left the door open for Brady to reconsider. 

“Bruce and I had plenty of conversations with Tom recently that led us believe there was a realistic chance he would come back,” said Licht.

Brady’s return gave a jolt to the football world, less than two months of Brady-free football news. 

Major sportsbooks were forced to temporarily stop betting on NFC Futures, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Caesars Sportsbooks had the Buccaneers at 20 to 1 odds to win Super Bowl 57 earlier today. With Tom Brady under center again, their odds are at 10 to 1. Their odds of being NFC champions also were cut in half from 10-1 to 5-1.

“All my takes on Brady being retired and all that stuff [are] completely out the door,” said former teammate Julian Edelman. “I have no clue what he’s doing ever, so if anyone has questions don’t ask me cause my guy is back for 23.”

Perhaps the most confused individual currently is the man who bought Brady’s final touchdown pass for 518,000 less than 24 hours before Brady announced his return to the game. Brady threw the ball to Mike Evans during the fourth quarter of their playoff elimination against the Los Angeles Rams.

Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was covering Evans on that touchdown pass, expressed his excitement about the news on Twitter. 

“THANK YOU,” Ramsey said. “Throw that last touchdown on somebody else.”

The Buccaneers will try to win their second Super Bowl with Brady at the helm after he led them to their second championship in franchise history during the 2020 season.

“We are ecstatic that he decided to continue playing and working toward winning another championship,” Arians said.

Brady’s announcement comes before the start of the new league year on Wednesday, meaning his short lived “retirement” was never actually processed. With this news, the Buccaneers will look to keep their Super-Bowl caliber offense together; with players like Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette becoming unrestricted free agents this offseason.