Just over a month after announcing his retirement from professional football, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced on social media he will be returning to the team to play in his 23rd season. The announcement, posted on Twitter and Instagram, came shortly after the NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket was announced Sunday, forcing sports networks to divert their coverage.
“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” Brady said in his announcement. “That time will come. But it’s not now.”
The reaction to Brady saying he will come back for a 23rd season was instant, and for some, the opposite of how they reacted to Brady’s retirement announcement. Some NFL teams even acknowledged their changing fortune. The biggest winner in the announcement was the Buccaneers, who released statements from both general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians Sunday night.
“We are thrilled Tom has decided to come back this season. We said we would leave all options open for him should he reconsider his retirement and today’s announcement is something we have been preparing for in recent days,” Licht said in his statement.
Arians added in his statement that Brady “is still playing at a championship level and was as productive as anyone in the league last season.”
“We are ecstatic that he decided to continue playing and working toward winning another championship,” Arians said.
Brady led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title during the 2020-21 season, giving Brady his seventh Super Bowl ring. He won his first six in 20 seasons with the New England Patriots.
Brady led the NFL in passing yards (5,316), touchdowns (43), completions (485) and attempts (719) this past season. The Buccaneers’ bid to repeat as champions ended when they lost at home to the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs.