40 days was too long to be away from football for seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady.
Just a few hours before the NFL free agency frenzy, Brady announced on social media Sunday night that he will return for his 23rd season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I texted with Bucs Head coach Bruce Arians who sent back a funny emoji face with stars in the eyes. Translation: WOW.
I'm sure he thought there was a chance the 44-year-old would return, but to play next season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and to know on March 13th? What a gift for the Tampa Bay. Heck, what a gift to football.
Brady included in his posts: “These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. 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."
The reaction around the league was a mix of those who were stunned, to happy, to Rams corner Jalen Ramsey who had the best one "Thank you, go throw your final td on someone else"
ESPN's Jenna Laine who covers the Bucs, laid out the free agents who may be thinking about staying in Tampa now.
"Brady's return comes on the eve of NFL free agency in which the Bucs will face tough odds to return all of their free agents. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, center Ryan Jensen, right guard Alex Cappa, cornerback Carlton Davis, running back Leonard Fournette, safety Jordan Whitehead, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul are set to become unrestricted free agents with the Bucs currently $11 million over the salary cap.
Gronkowksi has not yet committed to a return for the 2022 season and said at the end of the season that his status would not be tied to Brady."
The quarterbacks have absolutely ruled March.
Aaron Rodgers is a Packer. Russell Wilson is a Bronco. Carson Wentz is a Commander. Tom Brady is back.
Now let's see where Watson lands...