The Return of TB12

Just forty days after announcing retirement, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced his return to the NFL for his 23rd season.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cover Image
By Jessica Mui

And just like that, Tom Brady is back.

Tom Brady announced on Instagram and Twitter on March 13, 2022 that he would be making a return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his 23rd National Football League (NFL) season. The 44 year old, who has been considered as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, accomplished many impressive feats throughout his twenty-two season career where he played in ten Super Bowls, won seven championship rings, and earned three league MVP awards. And after 40 days of retirement, the legendary quarterback has the opportunity to once again start for the Buccaneers.

“These two past months I have realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” Brady posted. “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. LFG.”

Reactions from NFL fans on the announcement flooded the internet, especially on Twitter. Most fans of the NFL speculated that Brady’s return was imminent, with Brady and Buccaneers fans alike hoping that he would stay in the NFL longer to win more Super Bowls. While some players supported Tom Brady’s return, others were shocked by his return and saddened by the fact that they would have to deal with him for another year. Regardless, the NFL world, including the NFL and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers themselves, simply reacted with “LFG.”

Some fans theorized that Brady’s meeting with 37 year old Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo convinced him to get out of retirement as Brady was able to witness another athlete perform and dominate at his best, even at an old age (for an athlete). The day before Brady’s out-of-retirement announcement, he attended Manchester United’s game against Tottenham Hotspur, where Ronaldo scored a hat trick in a dominant 4-1 performance. Tom Brady even posted a video on Instagram where he was hesitant after Ronaldo asked him if he was actually done with American football.

When Brady first announced his retirement decision over Instagram on February 1, it drew lots of love and gratitude from NFL fans and players all over the world. Through his Instagram post, Tom Brady reflected on motivation to play football throughout his career and why he was retiring. Brady then proceeded to thank the people that have impacted his life, especially his teammates, fans, coaches, and family.

“There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge every single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential,” Brady said. “And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore, I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”

He further expanded his situation on his podcast “Let’s Go,” where he explained that the passage of time throughout his NFL career impacted his decision. “A lot of things have come up over the years, in the last 10 years of my life, as I got closer to this decision this last week, and it just in the end felt like it was the right time to do it,” Brady said.

Now, with Brady’s sudden return to the football field, he has already made an impact on this year’s NFL season. While his return can foreshadow the re-establishment of Tampa Bay as a dynasty in the NFL, Brady can also affect the decisions of free agents all over the NFL. With Brady’s presence alone, center Ryan Jensen and cornerback Carlton Davis have committed to returning to Tampa Bay. But not only did Brady’s presence create a ripple effect in the NFL free agency, it also serves as an obstacle for the rest of the NFC to even have a chance at winning the competition as well as the Super Bowl.

Furthermore, Brady’s return allows him to add more milestones to his list of notable accomplishments. At the end of the 2022 NFL season, Tom Brady had the most touchdown passes (624), most passing yards (84,520), most regular-season wins (243), most playoff wins (35), most Super Bowl appearances (10), most Super Bowl wins (7), most Super Bowl MVPS, and most Pro Bowl selections (15) in NFL history. Brady was even named 2009 Comeback Player of the Year and named to the NFL's 100 All-Time Team.

Brady faces a new challenge now, as he is twice the age of some of the players he will face. Regardless, Brady believes that his love and commitment to the game is stronger than ever.

“I don’t think it’s, you know, a physical thing,” Brady said. “I mean, it does require a lot of time and energy. You know, it’s just the nature of football and if you want to be good at it, you got to commit all the time and energy you can to it.”

And with this in mind, NFL fans should prepare to witness another year of Tom Brady.