Tom Brady’s decision to retire from the NFL at the beginning of February was met with much skepticism. The move came extremely suddenly and seemingly contradicted everything he had previously said regarding wanting to play for many more years.
Most expected that, at some point, Brady would return.
Surely enough, after roughly a month, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback announced this week that he was coming back.
Naturally, this led to everyone asking the obvious question: what changed?
This week Ben Volin of the Boston Globe appeared on WEEI’s “Merloni & Fauria” show and offered an intriguing explanation. Apparently, as originally reported by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, there was chatter of Brady possibly going to work for the Miami Dolphins in some capacity. Then the Brian Flores lawsuit happened, which in turn scuttled those plans.
“I know that’s true because I heard it independently, and I know I heard it from a different source than Mike Florio heard it,” Volin said.
“So that to me is the key. So Brady announces his retirement on the morning of February 1, a Tuesday. What happens that same day? Brian Flores files his lawsuit against the Miami Dolphins. Throws a wrench in the entire plan.
“Brady was not gonna go to Miami necessarily to be the quarterback. He was gonna be Derek Jeter. He was gonna team up with Payton and run the Dolphins. He was gonna run the front office. It was gonna be [Dolphins owner] Stephen Ross’ big heist. You don’t need permission from the Bucs to get Brady to run your front office. And Sean Payton was gonna be his coach. Sean Payton and Brady are both represented by Don Yee, so there’s a whole connection there.”
With his prior engagement now off his plate, Brady was free to return to the Bucs.
“So now Brady’s looking at it, ‘Well, what am I gonna do? Sit around on my couch for a year? No, I might as well go play football,’” Volin continued.
All of that not only makes sense, but also partially aligns with what Brady’s former New England Patriots teammate Tedy Bruschi said this week on ESPN.
.@TedyBruschi weighed in on Tom Brady’s unretirement 👀
“[Calculated] defines him. … Something happened here and that’s why this is so unexpected for me.” pic.twitter.com/mKYC4Gcw8Z
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 16, 2022
“Just surprising to me,” Bruschi said.
“I mean, I haven’t spoken to him or anything like that, but that word you just said … that ‘calculated’ word, it just defines him. … He had a plan, and something didn’t work out. Because this isn’t a guy that just, like, ‘You know, let me just take this day-to-day and see what we’ll do; no, I don’t feel good — I’m just gonna come back.’
“Something happened here and that’s why this is so unexpected for me. … I know his father’s comments, in terms of the media — I’m not buying it. This guy’s calculated. He knew exactly what he was doing but something didn’t work out.”
Now that’s how you celebrate a honeymoon. https://t.co/E9GHpGnCqE
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 17, 2022
That’s what happens when the consensus GOAT retires and unretires in the span of a single offseason.
But once Brady finally takes the field, all the outside chatter will die down. At that point, it’ll just be all about the football.
And in those circumstances, nobody thrives the way Brady thrives.