Tom Brady announces return to Tampa in annoying unretirement bombshell
By Adam Weinrib
Remember when New England Patriots legend Tom Brady said he’d be returning to Foxborough a whole lot more often whenever the time came to hang ’em up?
Brady left ’em hung for just about a month and a half before jolting out of bed and returning to the NFL on Sunday in a tweet that can only be described as “one level removed from a prank”.
About 20 minutes after the sporting world digested Coach K’s final March Madness bracket — man, talk about someone who might want to fake retirement to give it one more go — Brady fired off an innocent tweet with a chunky paragraph of text that, if you didn’t read it, you would’ve assumed was just a well-placed bit of nostalgia.
Nope! Overflowing with relevant news!
Brady will be coming back to the NFL in 2022 (the legal tampering period opens Monday), and he’ll be doing it for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No forced trade to San Francisco. No chicanery. He’s simply undoing everything he did in February and everything that was “leaked” a few weeks before that.
Patriots legend Tom Brady has unretired to rejoin the Buccaneers
PS – some poor sap bought Brady’s “final” touchdown ball for $518,000 earlier this weekend, and Brady should probably give Robert Kraft that money back to be nice.
Brady’s retirement seemed like more than just a trial balloon back in January. Sources close to the quarterback said he’d made up his mind (reportedly, allegedly, etc.) and Adam Schefter and Co. stood by their reporting, even as Brady said a decision had yet to be made.
Then, on Feb. 1, the man himself closed the door on his own career (forgetting to thank the Patriots in the process). Unfortunately for the rest of the NFL world, he didn’t lock it.
Earlier in the day on Sunday, Brady essentially screamed into a canyon that he was ready to come back, posting a noncommittal video by Cristiano Ronaldo’s side.
For those trying to “follow the breadcrumbs,” Brady ruined your good time by chucking a loaf of sourdough at your head on Sunday evening. Hope you were wearing a helmet!
As un-Brady-like as it was to dip out of the game at his peak and before the age of 45, it’s equally unbecoming to cause two separate retirement fervors, each featuring their own unique storylines, then undo them with a third bombshell.
Brady’s return always seemed possible — but, again, in San Francisco and with a year away from the game in between. Packing up and heading to Tampa like George Costanza coming into the office the next day and pretending he never quit isn’t something we ever expected from the GOAT.
Did he really ever change his mind? Or did he just want to witness his own funeral to remind himself what he was competing for? Perhaps he and Coach K have more in common than we ever thought.