Tom Brady did not stay retired for very long.
The announcement came on a Sunday night and was obviously thought out beforehand by Brady and those around him. For some, this came as a total shock. He's back and making a triumphant return.
However, those who have followed his words since the initial news of retirement had an inkling it would not last long.
Tom Brady never embraced the idea of retirement
Brady had his own retirement scooped up by a few reporters, so even the news itself came in a weird way. He and his family then went on to deny it, only for him to post that he did, in fact, retire a few days later.
Yet, something funny happened after he did that. Rumors began swirling about him playing elsewhere, such as with the San Francisco 49ers. He even said "never say never" about a return just days into retirement.
Those were not the words of someone happy to be retired and away from the game. But all fans had to do was listen to him at any point throughout the past couple of years. He joked about playing until 50, which became more realistic as he passed up the perfect opportunity to step away.
He led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title during the 2020 season to capture his seventh ring. He led two franchises to Super Bowl glory and could have walked away at the NFL mountaintop. Instead, he decided to run it back in 2021 at the age of 44.
Brady is a legend of the game and his team was once again a Super Bowl favorite this past season. Yet the final result was a defeat in the Divisional Round.
That is why his retirement ended up being a surprise. This was clearly not the way he wanted his career to end.
Yet it is also fair to point out that it is extremely difficult to retire after winning a title. Some players may win one their entire career, while plenty retire without a ring at all.
The difference is that Brady has seven titles and is an outlier in any NFL conversation. He is someone who can return in 2022, with the knowledge he has a great shot to win it all.
Does Brady want the attention, or did he truly change his mind? It is tough to say, but his return ends up being less surprising than his initial retirement in the first place.