When Tom Brady announced his retirement a few short weeks ago, there were many who, though surprised at the timing, would not have been shocked that the 44-year-old has opted to bring an end to his glittering NFL career. Now, however, it’s fair to say that we are all surprised at just how quickly the seven-time Super Bowl winner decided to reverse his decision.
It’s a move that will certainly have lifted the mood of everyone at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Some had speculated that had Brady come back into the game that he’d look for a new team, perhaps the San Francisco 49ers (his favorite team growing up); however, that was never going to happen.
Brady is still contracted to the Buccaneers, and they sure as hell wouldn’t have allowed his return to the game to be in any other team’s colors. When they were without Brady, albeit for a week or two, their NFL futures odds dropped like a stone. Now however, with the star quarterback back on board, they are seen as the third favorites behind the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills. So what can Brady achieve next season?
Well, even though last season was Brady’s 22nd in the NFL, he showed no signs of slowing down or indeed in terms of delivering the goods. He was top of the leaderboard across the whole NFL when it comes to passing yards and touchdowns, and his figures, though aided by the addition of a 17th regular-season game, were the best of his entire career.
His total of 5316 passing yards in regular-season action bettered his previous personal best by over 500 yards, and he was very much in the running for the NFL MVP, which went to Aaron Rodgers for the second season in succession.
Brady’s efforts led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 13-4 regular-season record, and they surprisingly fell to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams, in the Divisional playoffs. In other words, Brady still has a lot to offer.
There is no reason Brady can’t push the Buccaneers towards the latter stages of the season once again, and he seems ready, refreshed, and raring to go for next season;
“These past two months, I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,”
“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.” Brady announced via social media.
It’s a decision that has certainly pleased those in management positions at the Raymond James Stadium, general manager Jason Licht explaining that they were aware of the possibility of Brady reversing his decision for a few days;
“[Head coach Bruce Arians] and I have had plenty of conversations with Tom recently that led us to believe there was a realistic chance he would want to come back,”
“Tom is the greatest quarterback of all time who is still playing at an elite level. With this decision now made, we will continue to move forward with our offseason plans to reload this roster for another championship run.”
And move forward, they surely will. You can firmly expect Brady to put in 110%, as always, and one imagines that if he were to complete another Super Bowl triumph, he might then feel that he has achieved enough to call it quits.