Tom Brady says he will return as Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB next season

TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady’s retirement lasted 40 days.

Brady said Sunday he was returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his 23rd NFL season. The seven-time Super Bowl champion announced his decision on Twitter and Instagram, saying he had “unfinished business.”

“Over the past two months, I have realized that my place is always on the pitch and not in the stands,” he added. Brady wrote. “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.”

The announcement comes the same day Brady posted a video on his Instagram Stories in which Cristiano Ronaldo asked him, “You’re done, aren’t you?”

Brady’s response wasn’t audible, but the look on his face suggested he really hadn’t closed the door on retirement, although Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians told the reaper- NFL batsman two weeks ago: “He slammed the door when I talked to him. I think like a lot of these guys now that he likes having his name there.”

Arians added that he believed Brady was done for the reasons he retired – primarily his family. His children are growing up and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, said she struggled to watch him take so many beatings. But Brady is able to return thanks to the full support of his family.

The news also comes a day after a collector paid $518,000 for the ball used in Brady’s last touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Evans, who enthusiastically tweeted “LFG!” moments after Brady’s announcement.

Brady’s return comes on the eve of NFL free agency in which the Bucs will face a strong chance of firing all of their free agents. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, center Ryan Jensen, right guard Alex Cappa, cornerback Carlton Davis, running back Leonard Fournette, safety Jordan Whitehead, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and outside linebacker Jason Pierre- Paul is expected to become unrestricted free agents with the Bucs currently $11 million over the salary cap.

Gronkowski has not yet committed to a return for the 2022 season and said at the end of the season his status would not be tied to Brady.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.