Rejoice! Tom Brady will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback in 2022.
On Sunday, Brady announced on social media that he was "coming back" to settle some "unfinished business," ending the brief retirement that he had announced in February.
This is obviously incredible news for the Buccaneers, who have enjoyed an unprecedented era of success in the two years since Brady signed with the team in March of 2020. Tampa Bay has won 29 of 39 games, including the postseason, in that span, capturing the Super Bowl LV championship in 2020 and winning the NFC South division title in 2021 while tying for the league's best regular-season record.
"Tom Brady loves to play football as much as anyone I have ever been around," said Head Coach Bruce Arians. "As Tom said, his place right now is on the football field. He is still playing at a championship level and was as productive as anyone in the league last season. We are ecstatic that he decided to continue playing and working toward winning another championship."
After the Buccaneers' loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Round – in which Brady stunningly rallied the Bucs from a 24-point deficit to tie the game with 42 seconds left – the 15-time Pro Bowler announced that he was "not going to make that competitive commitment anymore." It comes as little surprise that, in fact, Brady is still driven by his unmatched competitive spirit.
And there is no doubt about Brady's ability to lead one of the NFL's most explosive offenses, even as he prepares to enter his 23rd season at the age of 45. In 2020, Brady led the league in most passing categories, including passing yards (5,316), touchdown passes (43), pass attempts (719) and completions (485). He set a new single-season NFL record for completions and became just the second quarterback ever to surpass 5,000 passing yards in a season two different times.
Brady's decision comes just five days after the Buccaneers placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin, one of the most important players in an offense that led the league in passing yards in 2021 and finished second in scoring. The Buccaneers face a number of additional free agency issues in the coming weeks, with more than 20 players from the 2021 roster scheduled to hit the open market, but the return of Brady certainly indicates that the team will be aggressively pursuing another championship.
"We are thrilled that Tom has decided to come back this season," said General Manager Jason Licht. "We said we would leave all options open for him should he reconsider his retirement and today's announcement is something we have been preparing for in recent days. Bruce and I have had plenty of conversations with Tom recently that led us to believe there was a realistic chance he would want to come back. Tom is the greatest quarterback of all time who is still playing at an elite level. With this decision now made, we will continue to move forward with our offseason plans to reload this roster for another championship run."
Brady's signing with the Buccaneers in 2020 after two decades and six Super Bowl championships with the New England Patriots was one of the most noteworthy free agent acquisitions in league history. As noted, it paid off extremely well, resulting in Tampa Bay's second Super Bowl title and its first division championship since 2007. In the process, Brady cemented his legacy as the sport's most decorated player, not only winning his seventh league championship – more than any other team has registered – but also taking over as the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards (84,520) and touchdown passes (624).
Incredibly, he's not done adding to those stats. And the Buccaneers aren't done chasing championships, with the greatest of all time still at the helm.
View the top pictures of Tom Brady from his time with the Buccaneers.