Tom Brady said he "feels like I can play" despite his recent retirement decision.
On Monday (February 6), Brady made his first appearance on his Let's Go! podcast with Jim Gray since his retirement announcement last week and said he felt it was the right time to make the decision, despite feeling he can still physically compete at the NFL level.
“There’s always gonna be a part [of me] that wants to play and a part of me that, you know, feels like I can play,” Brady said via Sports Illustrated. “I think there’s just a decision to know that it’s the right time. So I think for me it’s more of just, it’s gonna end at some point, and I think now’s the time.
“And it’s not that I can’t do it. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to do it. It’s not that I wouldn’t be excited to play. I love playing football. I’ve loved playing football since I was a kid on the street on Portola Drive. So I think it’s just a decision that it’s time to do other things.”
Brady announced he's "retiring for good" after 23 NFL seasons in a video shared on his Twitter account Wednesday (February 1). The 45-year-old had previously announced his retirement last offseason before announcing his decision to return several weeks later.
"I know the process was a pretty big deal last time so when I woke up this morning I figured I'd just press record and let you guys know first so it won't be long winded," Brady said. "You only get one super emotional retirement essay and I used mine up last year so, really, thank you guys so much for supporting me. My family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors. I could go on forever. There's too many. Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn't change a thing. I love you all."
Brady was set to become a free agent this offseason if he decided to continue his NFL career. The San Mateo native has a massive contract to become FOX Sports' lead NFL analyst beginning after the conclusion of his playing career.
Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2020 offseason following 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, which included six Super Bowl victories.
Tampa Bay defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9, in Super Bowl LV during Brady's first season with the franchise. The 45-year-old is the NFL's all-time passing leader for yards and touchdowns, as well as quarterback wins, among numerous other records.