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Tom Brady returns to Tampa for season 23 in the NFL

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Buccaneers Brady Returns Football (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved).

Tom Brady’s retirement lasted 40 days.

Brady said Sunday that he will return 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 has “unfinished business.”

“These last two months I have realized that my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” Brady wrote. “That time will come. But it is not now. I love my teammates and I love my family who supports me. They make it all possible. I’ll be back for my 23rd season in Tampa.”

Brady led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title after the 2020 season and the NFC South championship last season. He teamed with coach Bill Belichick to win six Super Bowls over 20 seasons with the New England Patriots.

Brady, 44, led the NFL in passing yards (5,316), touchdowns (43), completions (485) and attempts (719) in 2021, but the Buccaneers lost at home to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round.

Brady cited his desire to spend more time with his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and their three children when he decided to walk away from the game on Feb. 1. But he changed his mind about staying home a day after attending the Manchester United game. against Tottenham Hotspur. Brady sat down with the Glazer family, which owns Manchester United and the Buccaneers.

Many Hall of Famers from various sports returned to play after retiring, including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Bob Cousy in the NBA, Brett Favre and Reggie White in the NFL, Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux in the NHL.

The Buccaneers are hopeful that star tight end Rob Gronkowski will also return. Brady talked his friend out of retirement to join him in Tampa in 2020. The team lost Pro Bowl guard Ali Marpet, who retired at age 28. But wide receiver Chris Godwin is staying after earning the franchise tag.

Brady’s decision comes days before the NFL’s free agency period begins. The Bucs have several key players set to hit the open market, including Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen, running back Leonard Fournette, cornerback Carton Davis, safety Jordan Whitehead, linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Gronkowski and others.


More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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