TAMPA, Fla. — When Tom Brady retired the first time, he left us wanting more.
Second in MVP voting.
Set personal records through the air.
A franchise record in the win column.
He ran for the most yards in 10 years.
An athletic conundrum at 44 years old — still as good as any counterpart in the sport.
It was perfect.
Until it wasn’t.
His return to football for one last ride was as clunky and confusing as the Buccaneers offseason.
An unexpected unretirement led to a puzzling coaching change. His personal life suffered along with his physical appearance. He missed time from camp and missed certain players on the field as well.
A world which seemingly came easy to him, all of the sudden became so hard.
But if there’s one thing we learned from an 8-9 season with an early round exit, it is Brady pulled off the one feat he failed to do the previous two decades.
Prove he is not perfect.
And that’s exactly how he entered the league in the first place as the No. 199 overall pick out of Michigan.
At 45 years old, his personal life was relatable and the tough season was humbling.
While many wonder why he ever came back, not enough think what was gained upon his return.
He left us wanting more because he always wanted it the most, but the difference between this day versus the Feb. 1 we had last year is now there is acceptance.
An unspoken agreement between fans and the greatest of all time that this might be for the best.
And even if he wasn’t at his best for the past 365 days, he remained better than most.
Still a giant in this world, who became just a little bit smaller, which should work out perfectly for his future bust in Canton.