Don’t worry — you won’t be seeing five more years of Tom Brady.
That is, at least, according to the quarterback himself.
Brady made the decision to retire, then swiftly un-retire, this offseason, spending just 40 days away from the field. TB12 is back, though, and shined some light on his decision to step away, then step back this offseason.
Speaking in an interview with Variety, Brady detailed both his decision to step away, and ultimately return this upcoming season, saying that it felt “right” for him in the moment:
I made the decision in the moment, and I felt it was the right thing for the team to let the Bucs know. You need time to plan. And then through conversations with Bruce (Arians), Jason (Licht) and my wife, I felt like I could still play and compete.
And it’s not that I’m any less committed once I say that it’s a yes, but I’ve got a 14-year-old son who lives in New York City — he wants time. My wife, she’s been incredibly supportive of my career over a long period of time. So I had to talk with her, you know what I mean? Those decisions get made with me as a family. And I have two younger kids, one 12 and one 9 — everyone’s got challenging lives.
Brady says that there was a lot of pressure to decide whether or not he wanted to play in the upcoming season, saying he would have rather waited until July to decide whether or not to lace ‘em up again:
I would have preferred to un-retire in July if I wanted to play. But I couldn’t. If I said I’m not playing, they’d make plans. So I felt there was a lot of pressure to make a decision quickly. And then ultimately, I just decided, “Yes, let’s do it.”
The seven-time Super Bowl champ also said that he was unsure as to what he wanted to do in regards to broadcasting following his career: ESPN made overtures to him before eventually signing the massive, $375 million deal to become a Fox analyst following his career.
Initially, I told them (Fox) I didn’t want to do it. There was a lot of different emotions. I couldn’t make the decision from the place where I needed to be. For the first time, I was a free agent in life. It’s different than being a free agent in football when one of 31 teams can come after you. I had lots of different people say, “You’re free now; we’d love to have you involved in” — different parts of football, broadcasting, business and finance.
Brady reiterates that he’s “very close to the end,” leaving no doubt (well, some doubt) that he is in the twilight of his career.
So, rest easy, NFL fans. Brady won’t be torturing your favorite team for another five years. Maybe just two or three.