NFL News & Analysis

Tom Brady announces return to Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 2022 NFL season

Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers less than two months after announcing his retirement.

Brady announced his un-retirement Sunday night on Twitter.

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“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” Brady tweeted. “That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG”

The Buccaneers were expected to show interest in a trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Brady’s return takes the Buccaneers out of the mix.

The Hall of Fame quarterback originally announced his retirement on Instagram in early February. However, there was speculation that it was a “soft retirement,” and Sunday’s announcement confirms that. Brady will play his 23rd NFL season in 2022.

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Brady is the NFL’s career passing and passing touchdown leader. He’s a three-time NFL MVP, five-time Super Bowl MVP, six-time All-Pro and 15-time Pro Bowl selection.

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft out of Michigan, Brady went on to play 20 seasons with the New England Patriots before leaving for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent in 2020. He won six Super Bowls in New England and one more in 2020 with the Buccaneers.

Brady's retirement was never officially filed with the NFL league office, so he'll resume playing on his contract as it stands currently. He has a $20.27 million cap hit in 2022.

The Buccaneers will need to clear some cap space ahead of the new league year on March 16. An extension for wide receiver Chris Godwin, who was franchise-tagged for the second consecutive season, is one obvious path. Restructures for edge defender Shaquill Barrett, tackle Donovan Smith, and linebacker Lavonte David also make sense. Tight end Cameron Brate is also expected to take a pay cut for the third consecutive season.

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