NFL-Brady ends retirement, says he will play for Tampa next season By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Jan 16, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) hands his hat to a fan after beating the Philadelphia Eagles 31-15 in an NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan R

(Reuters) – Seven-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady abruptly said he would end his retirement letter on Sunday, announcing he would return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 23rd season just six weeks after hanging up his cleats.

Brady, who had established himself as one of the greatest players in National Football League history, stunned the sporting world with the unexpected about face.

“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” said Brady on his official Twitter (NYSE 🙂 account. “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.”

Shortly after Brady made his announcement the Buccaneers reacted with their own message on Twitter; “He’s baaackkkk” with a video of the quarterback taking the field.

The 44-year-old Brady spent 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, winning six Super Bowls before moving to Tampa Bay and leading the Bucs to a championship in his first season with the team.

Brady’s decision to retire on Feb. 1 was not unexpected but came after the future Hall of Famer had enjoyed one of the best seasons of his long career.

Last season Brady was a top contender for what would have been a fourth most valuable player award after leading the NFL in touchdown passes and passing yards.

Brady’s return will bring a quick end to the Buccaneers’ search for a starting quarterback.

Tampa was rumored to be interested in acquiring Russell Wilson, who was traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the Denver Broncos last week.

A lightly regarded prospect coming out of college, Brady was the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft but made the most of his chance when it finally came and turned around the fortunes of the Patriots franchise.

At the start of the 2001 campaign Brady was a then-unknown backup but took over the starting role in the second game of the season after starter Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury and he never relinquished the role.

Brady led the Patriots to an 11-3 record that season, which culminated with an upset win over of the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl where he was named the game’s MVP, beginning one of the greatest dynasties across any sport.

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