New England Patriots

TAMPA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 14: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on August 14, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Well, that was quick.

Sunday night, former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced via Twitter that he will be returning for the 2022 NFL season. It was previously believed that Brady was retiring after 22 seasons in the NFL.

“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now,” Brady tweeted, accompanied by a picture of his family and a picture of him playing. “I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG”

While there had been no shortage of speculation that Brady’s retirement wouldn’t last long, him committing to Tampa may come as a surprise to some. Many believed Brady used his retirement announcement as a way to gain a trade/release from a Buccaneers team that looked to be losing key pieces. Multiple potential landing spots were floated including San Francisco, Tennessee, and Miami.

Instead, Brady will return to the Bucs two years after winning his seventh career Super Bowl with the team in 2020. That was his first season in Tampa, after 20 years and six titles with the Patriots.

The timing of Brady’s announcement is notable as it relates to the NFL’s calendar. His tweet comes less than 24 hours before the legal tampering window opens, which marks the unofficial start of free agency.

This is a developing story, and will be updated…

Click here for complete New England Patriots coverage at 985TheSportsHub.com.

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.