Just over a month after announcing his retirement, the seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback confirmed on Sunday that he will indeed return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2022 for his 23rd NFL season.
He revealed the announcement on social media, writing, “Over the last two months, I’ve recognized my place remains on the field, not in the stands.” That moment will arrive. However, that is not the case at the moment. I adore my teammates and my devoted family. They enable everything. I’m returning to Tampa for my 23rd season. LFG has unfinished business.”
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Brady and the Buccaneers’ bid to repeat as Super Bowl champions last season fell short, as they were eliminated in the divisional round by the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams on a late-game touchdown.
Brady, who turns 45 in August, had one of the best statistical seasons of his career in 2021, completing 67.5 percent of his throws for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns with only 12 interceptions. He came in second place to Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers in the Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player poll.
“Tom Brady is the most passionate football player I have ever met,” Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said in a statement Sunday. “As Tom previously stated, his current home is on the football field. He is still playing at a championship level and was the league’s most productive player last season. We are overjoyed that he has chosen to continue playing and pursuing another championship.”
After Brady announced his retirement from the NFL on Feb. 1, Buccaneer’s general manager Jason Licht stated that the franchise was not ruling out a return.
“We are overjoyed that Tom has opted to return this season,” Licht stated Sunday in a statement. “We stated that we would explore all alternatives if he reconsidered his retirement, and today’s announcement is something we have been preparing for in recent days.
“Bruce and I had recently had numerous conversations with Tom that led us to believe there was a reasonable chance he may wish to return. Tom is the best quarterback of all time, still competing at the highest level. With this choice decided, we will proceed with our summer plans to rebuild this roster in preparation for another championship push.”
Arians, on the other hand, was initially less hopeful about his star signal-change callers of heart.
“When I spoke with him, he slammed it shut,” Arians said of Brady leaving the door open for a comeback.
Brady’s reinstatement vaults the Buccaneers back into contention for the 2022 season. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, maybe on the verge of losing numerous starters in free agency, which opens formally Wednesday. Free agents include cornerback Carlton Davis, running back Leonard Fournette, outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and William Gholston, and tight end Rob Gronkowski. Later Sunday night, center Ryan Jensen agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Buccaneers, his agency revealed through Twitter.
The Buccaneers applied the franchise tag to wide receiver Chris Godwin, who had a team-high 98 receptions and 1,103 yards in 14 games before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.
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