Brady felt pressure to return due to free agency
12: 08 PM ET
Jenna LaineESPN Staff Writer
- Covered the Buccaneers since 2009
- Joined ESPN in 2016
TAMPA, Fla. — Speaking publicly for the first time since ending his NFL retirement after 40 days, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said Wednesday that he felt pressure to end his retirement because of free agency, and that his key reasons for his indecision stemmed from commitments to his family.
“At this stage, it’s like 55% yes and 45% no,” Brady said in a roundtable that aired on TNT following Capital One’s The Match golf outing with Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. “It’s not 100-0. It’s the truth. 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. We’ll get there. It’s like running marathons. It’s impossible to decide two weeks before the marathon if you want to run. We went straight to free agency. I felt some pressure and talked to the team. It all worked out. “
Brady was asked whether he had been ready to retire.
“Partly, you know, yes,” said Brady, who will turn 45 in August. “And I think when they’re their [Mahomes’ and Allen’s], age, if you were asking me, ‘Are your going to play football next season?’ I would say there’s a 100% chance I’m playing. As I get older, I believe that this has changed as I have more responsibilities.
“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. It’s a huge commitment from her and it gets harder as you age. I don’t think they know what’s ahead. Aaron [Rodgers] is aware of these things because our lives get bigger and more complicated. There are more responsibilities. “
Brady is under contract with the Buccaneers through the 2022 season, after which he’ll be set to become an unrestricted free agent. He has not spoken about his future beyond the 2022 season.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.