Tom Brady, who announced his retirement less than two months ago, will return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 23rd season in 2022, he said Sunday on social media.
“These past two months I have realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” Brady wrote on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “That time will come. But it’s not now.
“I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. Without them, none of this is possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. We have unfinished business.”
Brady, 44, announced Feb. 1 that he was “not going to make” the “competitive commitment” to play football anymore. The Buccaneers, the NFL and Brady’s former team, the New England Patriots, issued statements to wish the future Hall of Famer well in retirement.
The Buccaneers later left the door open for Brady’s return when asked about it at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month in Indianapolis.
“That door is never closed,” coach Bruce Arians said. “Whenever Tom wants to come back, he’s back. … If Tom wants to come back, we’ll have plenty of money for him.”
Brady led the NFL with 5,316 yards and 43 passing scores in 17 starts last season. He also completed 67.5% of his throws for the 13-4 Buccaneers.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion, three-time MVP and 15-time Pro Bowl selection ranks No. 1 in NFL history with 624 passing touchdowns, 84,520 passing yards and 243 regular-season wins.
Brady remains signed through the 2022 season. His decision to return is expected to impact the desire of several players, who were set to hit the open market, to return to the franchise next season.
The NFL’s free agency period starts Wednesday.