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Tom Brady dished Monday on why he decided to step back onto the field despite indicating he was going to retire from the NFL for good.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers star told ESPN that, after reflecting on his decision, he started to feel like he could still physically play football.
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“I knew my body, physically, could still do what it could do and obviously I have a love for the game, I think I’ll always have a love for the game,” the seven-time Super Bowl winner said. “I do think physically I’ll be able to do it. I just felt like there was still a place for me on the field.”
He added: “At the end of the day, I just love the competition on the field. And last year was a very bitter ending to a season and we’ve got to make a lot of corrections to try to improve and put ourselves in a better position to succeed moving forward.”
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The Buccaneers’ comeback attempt in the NFC divisional round against the Los Angeles Rams was thwarted in the final seconds. Los Angeles’ win ended one of Brady’s best seasons in recent memories.
Brady led the NFL in completions (485), attempts (719), touchdown passes (43) and passing yards per game (312.7). It was the first time he led the league in touchdown down passes since 2015 and only the third time he’s had 40 or more touchdown passes in a single season.
“I know I don’t have a lot left, I really do. I know I’m at the end of my career. I wish you could go forever, but it’s just not and football comes at too high of a cost now. My kids are getting older and it’s just getting harder and harder to miss these things,” Brady said. “But, I wanted to give myself and my teammates and our organization another incredible opportunity to accomplish something that we’d all be very proud of.”
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Brady will be 45 in August.