Tom Brady felt pressure about Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ free agency outlook in decision to unretire

Even though Tom Brady’s retirement lasted only 40 days, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback said it wasn’t because the decision to return was easy.

During a roundtable session Wednesday after the Capital One “The Match” golf outing on TNT — his first public comments since he announced in March that he would be coming back for the 2022 season — Brady said he wavered on his decision to come back for his 23rd NFL season.

“At this stage, it’s like 55% yes (to return) and 45% no,” Brady said during the roundtable of his decision to come back. “It’s not 100-0. That’s just the reality. 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. All right, here we go.’ It’s like running a marathon. You can’t decide two weeks before the marathon, ‘Hey, I’m going to start running.’ We got right to free agency and I felt some pressure to do it and talked to the team and organization, and it all worked out.”

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Tom Brady plays a shot during The Match VI.

Tom Brady plays a shot during The Match VI.

Brady will turn 45 in August and is coming off of a season in which he completed 67.5% of his passes for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns with just 12 interceptions. He finished second to the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, the player with whom he was teamed up in “The Match,” in the voting for the Associated Press’ NFL Most Valuable Player award.

Brady and Rodgers toppled Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills in the match after Rodgers sunk a birdie on the last hole.

“Partly, you know, yes,” Brady said when asked if he had been ready to retire. “And I think when you’re (Mahomes and Allen’s) age, if you were to ask me, ‘Are you going to play football next year?’ I would say there’s a 100% chance I’m playing. And I think as I’ve gotten older, that’s changed because I have other 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. That’s a big commitment from her, so it’s harder when you get older. I don’t even think they know what’s coming. Aaron knows these things because your life gets bigger as we all do, our life gets more full — there’s more responsibilities.”

Once Brady does retire, he already has his second job lined up. He’ll join Fox Sports as the network’s lead analyst for NFL broadcasts.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tom Brady felt ‘pressure’ to return to Buccaneers due to free agency

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