Tom Brady's decision to unretire provided 'sense of relief,' Bucs GM says

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Tom Brady’s decision to not go ahead with retirement and decide to play the 2022 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers provided “a sense of relief” for general manager Jason Licht.

Licht revealed his reaction to Brady’s decision on Monday during a press conference announcing the re-signing of wide receiver Chris Godwin. Licht told reporters he was prepared for anything when it came to Brady’s decision and had to be ready for the upcoming season with or without him.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady during warmups before the game against the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 28, 2021. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady during warmups before the game against the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 28, 2021. 
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

“Well, in this business you have to be ready to expect the unexpected, but you also have to have plans either way. There was nothing I could do about it at that point. We had a lot of faith in thinking that he might change his mind, that he might come back, but we had to have plans either way,” Licht said. 

“Now when he decided that he was going to un-retire, we had several conversations – myself and Bruce [Arians] were a major part of that. There was a sense that it could happen but didn’t have any definites until later on, probably around the same time Chris [Godwin] heard [and] got his text message. I had talked to him, and Bruce knew he was going to put a statement out. That was a great day, just like today is a great day.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady during the second half against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 26, 2021 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady during the second half against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 26, 2021 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)

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Licht said he couldn’t point to just one factor that made Brady change his mind.

“Not one thing in particular. We’ve had so many conversations over the course of the year. [Him], Bruce, myself, coaches – we all see eye to eye. We know a good player when we see one,” he said. “We know what it’s going to take, so didn’t really have to talk through that with him. Just speaking from experience what we’ve done the last couple years with the roster. I think he knew that wasn’t anything he needed to worry about.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady on Dec 19, 2021.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady on Dec 19, 2021.
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

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Brady announced last week he was going to come back for at least one more season. He had announced in February that it was time to retire to spend more time with his family.

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