Tom Brady said on Monday that despite announcing his retirement, he knew he could still handle another season in the NFL and that he began to think about a return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when free agency began last month.

"I knew my body, physically, could still do what it could do and obviously I have a love for the game, I think I'll always have a love for the game," Brady told ESPN. "I do think physically I'll be able to do it. I just felt like there was still a place for me on the field."

When he retired on Feb. 1, he spent time with his wife and kids and reflected on the decision to leave football behind. He started to get the feeling that he should still be playing.

He spoke with people he had built relationships with in Tampa, including former coach Bruce Arians, and eventually decided that he wasn't done just yet. Brady said the love for his teammates and the excitement about the challenge the organization will face as defensive coordinator Todd Bowles took over.