Tom Brady Expresses Super Bowl Envy After Retirement, Admitting 'I Wish I Was' Working

Sunday's Super Bowl LVI is the first since Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL after 22 years

Old habits die hard, even for Tom Brady.

The seven-time Super Bowl champ announced his retirement from the NFL earlier this month after 22 seasons. But as Sunday's Super Bowl LVI drew nearer, Brady appeared to be missing his former gig.

The first sign came on wife Gisele Bündchen's Instagram on Saturday, where Brady admitted to wanting to be back on the field. Responding to Bündchen's caption asking "Who's working this weekend?" Brady wrote "I wish I was ‼️ ❤️," his words captured by popular Instagram account Comments by Celebs.

Then on Sunday, Brady shared a screenshot of his phone's lock screen, which showed a "time-sensitive" reminder for Super Bowl LVI.

"Sh*t..." Brady wrote atop the image.

Brady was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2000, and spent the first 20 seasons of his career with the team, winning six Super Bowls. His final two seasons in the NFL were played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who Brady led to his seventh Super Bowl victory in 2021.

Last month, the Buccaneers lost in the divisional round of the playoffs, leading many to question if Brady's retirement was imminent. At the time, he demurred, saying he'd be taking it "day by day," but eventually confirmed his exit in a heartfelt post on Instagram, Feb. 1.

"This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore," Brady, 44, wrote. "I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention."

"I am so proud of what we have achieved," Brady also said. "My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.

His post included messages of thanks to his teammates, coaches, and loved ones, namely Bündchen and their three kids.

"The future is exciting," he said, admitting he doesn't know "exactly what my days will look like" but ultimately wants to "enrich other people's lives."

Tom Brady
Tom Brady/Instagram

Since then, rumors have swirled that Brady might return — something he addressed while discussing his future in football with his podcast co-host Jim Gray.

"I'm just gonna take things as they come," Brady said on his show, Let's Go!. "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 feel very good about my decision," he continued. "I don't know how I'll feel six months from now."

Brady went on to share that he wants "to make the best possible decision I can in the moment," which he felt he did when he first decided to walk away. "I think it's not looking to reverse course, I'm definitely not looking to do that," he said. "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," Brady added. "I'm looking forward to doing things other than playing. That's as honest as I can be with you there."

Tom Brady
Tom Brady. Randy Holmes via Getty Images

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Sunday's Super Bowl LVI saw the Los Angeles Rams triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and quarterback Matthew Stafford of the Rams both suffered hard hits during the game. Burrow was sacked with about 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Stafford had earlier limped off the field after a sack in the third quarter. Both quarterbacks ultimately returned to the game.

"I'm so proud of this team," Stafford told NBC cameras after the victory. "There's so many guys on our team that deserve this, so many great players guys who have just given their heart and soul of this team, guys that are either playing this game or not because injury or whatever it is. I'm so proud of this group."

The Bengals remain one of just 12 NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl, according to CBS Sports. Their last appearance in the game was over three decades ago when they lost to the 49ers at Super Bowl 23.

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