TAMPA, Fla. – Tom Brady admits a lot has happened in the four months since he announced on social media that he was retiring after 22 NFL seasons and seven Super Bowl championships.
First, the 44-year-old quarterback changed his mind and said six weeks later he would be back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to “finish the job.”
Brady also accepted a lucrative offer to become a Fox network analyst once his playing career was over.
But for now, Brady is focused on ways he can help the Bucs win another championship.
“It seems like it’s been a long time. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge,” Brady said Thursday when asked about the turnaround in his retirement plans.
“Honestly, I think I have returned to something else. I’m happy to be back with my teammates. It will be a great season, he added at the conclusion of a mandatory three-day camp. Expectations are high. »
Brady also opened up about his relationship with his former head coach Bruce Arians, who retired just over two weeks after Brady’s return was announced. The most productive quarterback in NFL history also commented on the future of his longtime accomplice Rob Gronkowski.
He was less forthcoming when asked to comment on rumors that he’s considered getting involved with the Miami Dolphins – possibly as a minority owner, as a player, or both.
“Over the past three or four years I’ve had a lot of discussions with different people about post-career plans,” Brady said. I have made a decision and that is to stay involved in football.
“For me, the most important thing is the present moment and my goals with the team,” added Brady. I am committed to this team. I’ve had a lot of fun since I came here two years ago. And it’s not over. »
Brady claimed to have maintained a good relationship with Arians and played no role in his departure. Todd Bowles, who served as head coach of the New York Jets and was defensive coordinator for the Bucs under Arians, was promoted to head coach of the team.
“One of the reasons I came here is Bruce. I have a lot of respect for him,” Brady insisted.
The quarterback didn’t want to speculate about Gronkowski’s possible return to the Bucs. Gronkowski is currently without a contract.
“We would like to be able to count on him, but it’s up to him to make the decision,” said Brady.