Legendary quarterback Tom Brady has contacted Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht to inform him that he has yet to make a final decision regarding his future in the sport, NBC News reported Saturday.
It comes after ESPN and other outlets reported Brady had decided he would retire from the sport after 22 seasons.
Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion, has been widely expected to announce a decision for the upcoming season in the coming weeks.
Brady’s agent, declining to comment on the accuracy of the reports, said Brady alone will be able to share his plans with “complete accuracy.”
“I understand the advance speculation about Tom’s future. Without getting into the accuracy or inaccuracy of what’s being reported, Tom will be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy. He knows the realities of the football business and planning calendar as well as anybody, so that should be soon,” Donald Yee said in a statement to CNBC.
During a recent episode of his podcast “Let’s Go,” Brady told co-host Jim Gray there is joy in “not playing football” and spending time with his family.
Brady, 44, left the New England Patriots in 2020 and signed with the Buccaneers to take them to their first Super Bowl in 18 years. Brady became the oldest starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl ring at age 43.
But confusion quickly escalated following the ESPN report.
As reports of Brady’s retirement spread on Saturday, Brady’s company TB12sports tweeted its thanks to the quarterback along with a list of his wins. The company later deleted the tweet. The National Football League had also briefly changed parts of its social media accounts to say “#ThankYouTom” but changed it back.
The NFL declined to comment.
Buccaneers executives and coaches had been bracing for Brady’s retirement in the past few weeks, ESPN reported. On his podcast, Brady had said there was “no rush” from the Bucs coaching staff and management in deciding whether to return to play.
After leaving the field following the Buccaneers’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams, ESPN said Brady likely knew it was his last act in the sport. Brady has been against the idea of a “farewell tour,” however, saying it could be “distracting.”
“I’m proud and satisfied with everything we accomplished this year,” he said about the Bucs season and his own performance. “I know when I give it my all, that’s something to be proud of. And I’ve literally given everything I had, this year, last year and the year before that.”
— CNBC’s Jessica Golden contributed to this report.