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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady discussed Wednesday why he decided to return to football after announcing he was going to retire from the NFL.
Brady suddenly retired in February before returning about a month later for another run with Tampa Bay.
The legendary quarterback said he felt pressure to end his retirement due to free agency, and his indecision to return for a third season with the Buccaneers stemmed from his commitments to his family.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady yells at his team during a game against the Washington Football Team Nov. 14, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
“At this stage, it’s like 55% yes and 45% no. It’s not 100-0. That’s just the reality,” Brady said in a roundtable on TNT after he and Aaron Rodgers defeated Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen in “The Match” golf event in Las Vegas.
“It’s not that I’m not 100% committed. It’s just as soon as I make the commitment to do it, it’s like ‘Ugh. All right, here we go.’ It’s like running a marathon,” he said. “You can’t decide two weeks before the marathon, ‘Hey, I’m going to start running.’ We got right to free agency and I felt some pressure to do it and talked to the team and organization, and it all worked out.”
Brady, who will turn 45 in August, later said he was “partly” ready to retire.
“I think when you’re their [Mahomes and Allen’s] age, if you were to ask me, ‘Are you going to play football next year?’ I would say there’s a 100% chance I’m playing. And I think, as I’ve gotten older, that’s changed because I have other responsibilities,” Brady explained.
Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers take part in the Bleacher Report Hot Seat press conference prior to Capital One’s The Match VI — Brady and Rodgers v. Allen and Mahomes at Wynn Golf Club June 1, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images for The Match)
“So the responsibilities are many people taking care of me and things that I have off the field that are really important to me, like my family, my kids. My wife’s done an amazing job of that. That’s a big commitment from her, so it’s harder when you get older,” he added, via ESPN.
“I don’t even think they know what’s coming. Aaron knows these things because your life gets bigger as we all do, our life gets more full … there’s more responsibilities.”
Last season, Brady threw for a career-high 5,316 passing yards with 43 touchdowns and 12 interceptions to lead the Buccaneers to a 13-4 record and the NFC South crown.
After beating the Philadelphia Eagles in the opening round of the playoffs, Tampa Bay fell to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round. The Bucs’ comeback was thwarted in the final seconds.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, left, throws during the first half of a game against the New York Jets, Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Munson)
Brady led the NFL in completions (485), attempts (719), touchdown passes (43) and passing yards per game (312.7). It was the first time he led the league in touchdown passes since 2015 and only the third time he’s had 40 or more touchdown passes in a single season.
He is under contract with Tampa Bay through the end of the 2022 season.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report