Peyton Manning Makes His Feelings On Tom Brady's Unretirement Perfectly Clear

In early February, Tom Brady disappointed fans when he announced his decision to retire from the NFL on Instagram. In a multiple-slide post, he wrote, "This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes ... I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention." He then penned a list of shout-outs to people he wanted to thank for their support throughout his decades-long career.

Just a month following his announcement, Brady reversed the decision to retire. It seems that he thought long and hard about what retirement would really mean and determined he wasn't ready yet. "These past two months I've realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands," he wrote on Twitter, adding, "That time will come. But it's not now." He then revealed that his fans can expect him to return to Tampa for his "23rd season." 

Brady's good friend, Jim Gray, had some additional thoughts on why the football player reversed his decision, which he revealed to sportswriter Peter King, per NBC Sports. Gray stated, "I don't think Tom wanted to be sitting there, out of the game and watching football in September and thinking, 'I'm as good as those guys. I can still do this. I still love it.'" Another friend of Brady's, fellow football player Peyton Manning, also weighed in on Brady's unretirement and didn't mince his words.

Peyton Manning wants his retirement gifts back

When Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL, Peyton Manning gifted him a bottle of wine and a handwritten letter to commemorate his career coming to an end. The story, which Manning told at a MINT Collective event on March 26, ended up on Twitter. In a short clip from the event, the former football quarterback stated as if talking directly to Brady, "I want the letter back. You got to read all these nice things, I want it back. I want the bottle of wine back, too." However, Manning adopted a joking tone of voice, which clearly indicated that he was not actually expecting Brady to return the gifts.

Although Brady and Manning weren't exactly friendly on the football field, they built a friendship over the years, per People. In a December 2020 interview with Westwood One Radio, the former New England Patriots quarterback stated, "I really like Peyton. There are a lot of things in common that we've had over the years, so it's nice to have someone who can relate to a lot of similar experiences we've had." He added that the two shared "a special relationship" and that he hoped it would "stay that way for many years to come." Manning has also spoken publicly in interviews about his friendship with Brady. In a January 2021 interview with Good Morning America, he revealed, "[I] always felt [Brady] brought out the best in me and vice versa for him."