Was Tom Brady’s Retirement a Publicity Stunt?

It was about a month and a half ago when Tom Brady shocked the entire football world by announcing his retirement. Brady cited that he left the game of football because he needed to focus on things that required his attention. Whatever those things were, they obviously did not require his attention for that long. 

On March 13, Brady put out a statement saying that he would unretire from the National Football League (NFL) and come back for his 23rd season, playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This news led media and players into a frenzy, and it certainly shook up a highly competitive National Football Conference (NFC). The Buccaneers have been an extremely successful team ever since Brady signed with them in March of 2020, winning a Super Bowl title and almost making a second NFC Championship appearance. With Brady back in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers may have another shot at a Super Bowl title. 

While the main story is Brady’s sudden return to the NFL, it’s impossible to ignore the purpose of his one and half month “retirement” from football. After just 40 days, Brady put out a statement saying that his place was still on the field instead of the stands. Interestingly enough, there was nothing leaking out from Brady’s camp prior to his announcement that would lead people to believe that he would unretire, meaning that his decision would have had to come internally. Brady has made statements in the past about wanting to spend more time with his family when he no longer prioritizes football, but he obviously felt that that time had not come yet. 

Either he could not live without staying committed to a football team, or the entire retirement scheme was planned. Brady’s retirement came right in the midst of the playoffs, while his team was eliminated and he was already out of the conversation. It is possible that Brady felt like the league had passed him by and no longer featured him as the face of the league, so he wanted to return to the headlines in the boldest way possible. Aside from this, one of the most important things to Brady in the past decade has been his brand. In the final words of his retirement post back on Feb. 1, Brady plugged his health and wellness company, his NFT company and his brand new clothing company.

Recently, whenever Brady has gotten the chance to give credit to his brands, he has done it without hesitation. Like any highly-respected athlete should, he has utilized his platform to spread word about his companies. Brady may have just wanted to take another chance at highlighting the success of his brand. It is more likely, though, that Brady had missed the commitment to football that he had loved for the past 22 years, and he could not let go of it just yet.