Well that was quick.
It feels like it wasn't long ago we were waving goodbye to the GOAT, and that's because it wasn't... Tom Brady has spent just 40-days away from the turf and has already announced his return to the NFL. The news of his 'retirement u-turn' hit headlines on Sunday afternoon following some speculation made during the week.
Rumours began to stir when fans found out that he was continuing to live the TB-12 life and supposedly staying in 'football shape'. NFL insider, Ian Rapoport, tweeted some suspicion of his comeback after having a conversation with a close friend of Brady, who stated that "he’s still doing all the things that he would do in case he wanted to return."
Rapoport followed up by saying:
I don’t know if he’s gonna come back. I know it is at least possible. And I don’t know where the level of possible is. But it is at least possible.
Conspiracy theories are already running rife across social media after Brady spent Saturday in the stands of a Manchester United game, watching Cristiano Ronaldo become a hat-trick hero in the Red Devil's win. Brady met No.7 on the pitch after the match, and who knows, maybe the ageing soccer legend inspired an NFL comeback with Brady tweeting this just a day later:
At 44 years old, it's hard to know how many more seasons Brady will last. Perhaps his eyes are set on an eighth Super Bowl title? After throwing a league-high 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns last season, he's certainly capable of achieving that.
His return to the sunshine-state for a 23rd season puts fans on edge after such a graceful exit from the league a couple months ago. We all know he's arguably the best quarterback in history, but no Brady fan wants to see retirement come after a mediocre year, or worse, a career ending injury. But now every possibility is back on the table. And who knows, maybe he will make it 8... Either way I'm sure we're all eager to see what the GOAT can still do.
TB12 will be joined in Florida by his reliable protector, Ryan Jensen, who announced on Sunday night that he has signed a three-year, $39 million deal to continue leading the Bucs offensive line. It seems the Tom Brady effect is already in full swing, but can he convince anyone to bring Antonio Brown back to the roster after his dramatic walk-off against the Jets? We think not.
In any event, we're happy to know we'll be watching more Brady magic next year and our fingers are crossed for another stellar performance. There's never a dull moment with No.12 on the field - from record-breaking stats to some of the greatest comebacks in NFL history, he's brought more than enough to the league already and now he's back to do even more.
Here's a look at just what we can expect next year, with some of Brady's best moments from the 21-22 season: