Tom Brady Sends Strong Message Amid 49ers Trade Rumors

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady will play for the Buccaneers in 2022.

Tom Brady’s retirement did not even last until the start of free agency this week as the NFL legend announced he is once again the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ QB1. Brady took to Twitter to officially unretire, and he made it clear that he plans to play for the Buccaneers in 2022.

“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” Brady tweeted on March 13, 2022. “That time will come. But it’s not now. 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.”

The news officially puts to rest the San Francisco 49ers trade rumors that surfaced shortly after his retirement on February 1. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio quickly backtracked after weeks of insisting Brady would be the Niners’ Week 1 starting quarterback in 2022. Shortly after Brady’s tweet, Florio noted that Brady is “definitively” playing for the Bucs next season.

“I sensed all along Brady was coming back,” the Pro Football Talk account tweeted on March 13. “I thought he wanted to play for another team. His announcement is definitive that he’s playing for the Buccaneers.”

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Brady Will Be a Free Agent in 2023

The announcement by Brady, who has one year left on his Bucs contract, will not completely end the 49ers speculation because he will become a free agent in 2023, meaning he could sign with San Francisco next offseason.

During the NFL Combine earlier this month, Bucs general manager Jason Licht hinted that Brady’s retirement might not be a done deal.

“I think with a Tom Brady, I personally never want to completely close the door,” Licht told reporters on March 1. “Now, I don’t have any information that suggests that he is going to come back. I’m very good friends with him, we talk, we haven’t talked about that. I don’t want to apply any pressure, in that regard right now. He’s Tom Brady, if a Tom Brady wants to come back, we’ll welcome him back.”

Brady Is Back to Being a Recruiter for the Bucs

The timing of Brady’s announcement appears to be calculated given that NFL teams can begin meeting with free agents on Monday, March 14, ahead of the league year starting on Wednesday, March 16. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on March 13 that Brady is back to being the team’s lead recruiter.

“By announcing his decision to return to Tampa tonight, Tom Brady sends a message to the 24 Buccaneers free agents who could have begun entering into agreements with other teams at noon Monday,” Schefter tweeted.

After Brady’s announcement, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians acknowledged that the team would stand a better chance of retaining key players in free agency now that Brady is returning.

“When asked if Brady’s return will affect the Bucs ability to retain their own free agents, coach Bruce Arians told me ‘Oh, yeah, guys love playing with him,'” Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud tweeted on March 13.

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