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Tom Brady Doesn’t Rule Out Eventual NFL Return: ‘Never Say Never’

Tom Brady spoke publicly for the first time on Monday since announcing his retirement from the NFL six days ago.

In his weekly appearance on his Let's Go podcast with Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray, the seven-time Super Bowl champ shared what went into his decision to retire. As he alluded to previously, the 44-year-old explained that he thinks he could still play, but that he wants to devote his attention to other aspects of his life.

“It's certainly not that I can't play, or continue to play, but I think there's an important choice for me to make,” Brady explained. “And I think the choice is: Everything certainly comes at a cost and the cost is what am I missing out on other aspects of my life and things that are, as you get older, you experience things outside of the sport that demand attention and energy that football has always gotten. And it's time for me to commit to those types of things.”

Although Brady's retirement decision seemed rather final last week, he didn't entirely rule out a return to the NFL in the future. When asked by sportscaster Jim Gray on the podcast whether he'd consider ever coming back to football, the 44-year-old didn't slam the door shut.

“You know, I’m just gonna take things as they come,” Brady said. “I think that’s the best way to put it and I don’t think anything, you know, you never say never. At the same time I know that I’m very, I feel very good about my decision. I don’t know how I’ll feel six months from now, [inaudible] change, it most likely won’t. But I try to make the best possible decision I can in the moment, which I did this last week. And, again, I think it’s not looking to reverse course, I’m definitely not looking to do that. But in the same time I think you have to be realistic that you never know what challenges there are gonna be in life. Again, I loved playing. I’m looking forward to doing things other than playing.”

Brady finished his career with a seven Super Bowl titles, a multitude of individual awards and numerous NFL records, including completions (7,263), touchdowns (624) and passing yards (84,520). 

If he does stay retired, he will be Hall of Fame eligible beginning in 2027. 

"I'm just very humbled by everything," Brady said. "I guess I've been around a lot of people over the years because I had a lot of people reach out to me and in different variations and forms. I'm grateful for all the amazing relationships that I've had. What it means to me is I've impacted people's lives and certainly they've impacted mine, too. So whether those were teammates of mine or competitors of mine there was so much mutual respect. ... I've taken so much from the sport and I'm glad so many people enjoyed watching me play over the years. Believe me, I loved playing more than they loved watching me. So for as many people that loved watching me play, I enjoyed playing the game and being in there much more than people actually enjoyed watching me play."

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