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Tom Brady tells Variety he would have preferred to ‘un-retire’ in July

The Bucs quarterback also indicates 2022 “absolutely” could be his last season.
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady speaks to reporters during a June 9 news conference following the conclusion of the team's three-day mandatory minicamp.
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady speaks to reporters during a June 9 news conference following the conclusion of the team's three-day mandatory minicamp. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Jul. 14, 2022

The way Tom Brady tells Variety in its latest cover story, his recent retirement and un-retirement both were made in haste.

In a lengthy Q&A session with writer Ramin Setoodeh, the 44-year-old Bucs quarterback said he made the decision to retire last February “in the moment,” then felt “a lot of pressure to make a decision quickly” upon realizing he still wanted to play in the NFL.

“I would have preferred to un-retire in July if I wanted to play. But I couldn’t,” said Brady, who announced his return March 13 and embarks on his 23rd NFL training camp when the Bucs stage their first preseason practice July 27.

“If I said I’m not playing, they’d make plans. So I felt there was a lot of pressure to make a decision quickly. And then ultimately I just decided, ‘Yes, let’s do it.’ And once I said that, it was like — OK, here we go.”

Brady also spoke with Setoodeh at length about his burgeoning career as an entrepreneur, the upcoming movie made by his own production company (“80 for Brady”) that required him on set two days for a cameo, his future gig as an NFL analyst for Fox, and what he deemed his “mischaracterized” relationship with former President Donald Trump.

“I haven’t talked to him in a lot of years,” he said.

He also said his football career is “year to year” at this point.

“Could this be my last year? Absolutely,” said Brady, who turns 45 on Aug. 3. “Could I change my mind? Absolutely. I’ve realized I don’t have five years left. I want to do it my way. I want to give it everything I got and see where I’m at.”

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