Tom Brady says he's 'not opposed' to late-season NFL return

ByMike Reiss ESPN logo
Thursday, April 11, 2024
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Tom Brady said he was retiring from football "for good" on Feb. 1, 2023, but he might be having second thoughts.

In an appearance on the "Deep Cut" podcast, released Thursday, Brady was asked by host Vic Blends whether he would pick up the phone if a team called him in the event of an injury.

"I'm not opposed to it," Brady said. "I don't know if they are going to let me if I become an owner of an NFL team. I'm always going to be in good shape. I'll always be able to throw the ball. So, to come in for a little bit, like MJ [Michael Jordan] coming back, I don't know if they would let me. But I wouldn't be opposed to it."

Blends proposed a scenario where the San Francisco 49ers might need a quarterback headed into the playoffs, and then Brady also mentioned the New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders before giving his answer.

In May 2023, Brady reached an agreement with Raiders owner Mark Davis to join the organization's ownership group, pending NFL approval.

That approval has yet to come, with commissioner Roger Goodell saying at March's annual meeting that the league goes "through a very thorough process" and he believed "it's been making progress."

Brady, 46, also has plans to begin work as a sports broadcaster at Fox Sports this summer.

Brady referenced his upcoming work with Fox Sports on the podcast, saying: "I love having this challenge to try something different in my life. It's going to challenge me in a lot of different ways."

At one point in the podcast, Brady said: "My career and all that, that's a thing of the past in my mind. I was a gladiator out there, and now my time has moved on. Now it's, 'OK, how can I deliver for my next group of teammates?'"

Brady's remarks on the podcast, which came while he was in a barber's chair, generated social media buzz and especially resonated in New England, where the Patriots are planning a full-stadium ceremony to honor Brady on June 12.

Brady played for the Patriots from 2000 to 2019, winning six Super Bowl championships. He finished his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2020 to 2022, capturing a seventh Super Bowl title.