Tom Brady says start of free agency spurred his return

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Tom Brady admitted he felt some pressure to end his brief retirement from the NFL and return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the time he did due to the start of free agency.

Speaking during a roundtable discussion on TNT on Wednesday, Brady implied he did not want the new league year to begin and the Buccaneers to make free agency decisions based on the assumption that the future Hall of Fame quarterback was retired and not coming back.

Brady's retirement lasted 40 days before he announced he would return on March 13 – three days before the start of free agency.

"At this stage, it's like 55 per cent yes and 45 per cent no. It's not 100-0. That's just the reality," Brady said. "It's not that I'm not 100 per cent committed, it's just as soon as I make the commitment to do it, it's like 'Ugh. All right, here we go.'

"It's like running a marathon. You can't decide two weeks before the marathon, 'Hey, I'm going to start running.' We got right to free agency and I felt some pressure to do it and talked to the team and organisation and it all worked out."

In speaking publicly for the first time since ending his retirement, Brady was asked if he had been ready to retire.

"Partly, you know, yes," the seven-time Super Bowl champion said. "And I think when you're their (Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen's) age, if you were to ask me 'Are you going to play football next year?' I would say there's a 100 per cent chance I'm playing. And I think as I've gotten older, that's changed because I have other responsibilities."

Brady is returning for his third season with Tampa Bay and 23rd in pro football after leading the league with a career-high 5,316 passing yards in 2021, while also ranking first in passing touchdowns with 43.

The soon-to-be 45-year-old led the Buccaneers to a 13-4 regular-season record and NFC South crown last year, but their season ended with a 27-20 loss to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting