Tom Brady said Wednesday that he felt some pressure right before the start of free agency to end his retirement.
The Bucs faced the prospect of losing several key players, and with them, his best chance to win another Super Bowl with Tampa Bay.
Brady, who turns 45 in August, retired from the NFL on Feb. 1 ... then changed his mind about six weeks later on the eve of the free-agent signing period.
His responsibility at home to his wife and three children had been the biggest reason for the indecision.
“You know at this stage, it’s like 55 percent yes and 45 percent no,” Brady said on TNT during a roundtable with fellow quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen following “The Match,” a made-for-TV golf outing.
“That’s just the reality. It’s not that I’m not 100 percent 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.”
Rodgers, who is 38 and has been in the league with the Packers since 2005, was asked if he ever thinks about retirement. “I think about it all the time,” he said.
The Bills’ Allen said he never truly believed Brady was retired.
“I got asked interview after interview, ‘What do you think about Tommy retiring? What do you think? What do you think?’” Allen said. “I said, ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ I said, ‘Come Week 6 if he’s not playing, maybe I’ll believe it.’ ... Obviously, he’s back now and we’re glad he’s back.”
The Chiefs’ Mahomes said he was getting married at the time and went on his honeymoon and didn’t have to address it.
“He’s going to play until they take him off the field,” Mahomes said of Brady. “I’m just going to try to make it longer than he does.”
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