Brady to keep year-to-year approach as career winds down

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Tom Brady will not commit to playing beyond 2022, though said it is not a certainty that the upcoming NFL season will be his last.

Brady, who retired after last season but swiftly changed his mind, will turn 45 in August, and in May he acknowledged he is near the end of one of the most accomplished careers of any athlete.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback also said he believes he's still got something left, however, as he approaches his 23rd training camp and third with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"My body feels really good," Brady told Variety. "I've had a lot of traumatic injuries over the years, but if things go really smoothly and we win, that'd be great."

Brady also touched on his decision to temporarily announce his retirement in February, as well as his rationale for reversing course and returning to the Buccaneers.

"I made the decision in the moment, and I felt it was the right thing for the team to let the Bucs know," he said.

"You need time to plan. And then through conversations with Bruce [Arians], [general manager] Jason [Licht] and my wife, I felt like I could still play and compete.

"I would have preferred to un-retire in July if I wanted to play, but I couldn't. If I said I'm not playing, they'd make plans. So, I felt there was a lot of pressure to make a decision quickly. And then ultimately, I just decided, 'yes, let's do it.' Once I said that, it was like – 'OK, here we go'."

Shortly after Brady declared his intention to come back for another season, Fox Sports announced it had signed the future Hall of Famer to a 10-year, $375million contract to serve as the network's lead analyst for its NFL Game of the Week broadcasts once he does retire for good,

Whether that will be after the 2022 season, Brady said nothing is yet set in stone.

"Could this be my last year? Absolutely," he said. "Could I change my mind? Absolutely. I've realised I don't have five years left.

"I want to do it my way. I want to give it everything I got and see where I'm at."

Brady did acknowledge that winning another Super Bowl would make it easier to call it quits after this season, while also admitting that the Buccaneers' playoff loss to the eventual 2021 champion Los Angeles Rams influenced his choice to come back.

"I think that would obviously be the greatest way to end," he said. "I just have a competitive fire that got the best of me."

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