At present, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now stand as the biggest Super Bowl threat in the AFC after the stunning ouster of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. But beyond that, these playoffs could potentially be the last few games of the legendary quarterback’s storied career.
According to the latest report from ESPN insiders Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington, Tom Brady remains seriously “non-committal” to playing for the 2022 NFL season.
Sources both with the Bucs and close to Brady all recognize the star quarterback remains non-committal to playing beyond this season. Although Brady could decide to play again — he has talked about playing until he was 45, and even beyond — it is currently far from a given, sources tell ESPN.
Although it should be no surprise that Tom Brady, a human man who turns 45 later this calendar year, may very well retire at season’s end, his still-serviceable play for the Buccaneers this season coupled with his quotes on playing to 45 gave off the appearance that he was still poised to keep going.
It’s not like teams around the league were treating this as Tom Brady’s swan song as he visited opposing arenas for potentially the last time. However, rumblings on his potential desire to hang it all up have reportedly emerged “for weeks now” and there has been “internal wonder” within the Bucs organization on where his head is at beyond this season.
It’s no surprise that how the Buccaneers end this season could sway Tom Brady one way or another. Adding one final Super Bowl ring could be the victory cigar he’d need to signify the end to potentially the greatest career in NFL history.
Part of Brady’s decision is likely to be situational; how Tampa Bay finishes this season, and how the three-time league MVP feels whenever the season concludes. Some sources believe that if Tampa Bay repeats as Super Bowl champions, it would increase the likelihood that Brady could walk away from the game.
For what it’s worth, Bucs coach Bruce Arians recently spoke out on the possibility of Tom Brady retiring. Based on his own judgement, he doesn’t see the 7-time Super Bowl winner walking away just yet.
“The way he was at practice (Friday), I would be shocked if he didn’t (play next year),” Arians said of Brady, per Rick Stroud of Tampa Bay Times. “You know they have that Friday quarterback challenge, and he came flying out of the locker room, sprinting two or three fields away and couldn’t wait to get into the challenge. He was like a little kid. I would be shocked.”
But of course, that enthusiasm could simply be Brady’s way of compartmentalizing the present football season rather than let the cloud of uncertainty hang over his head as they chase a Super Bowl repeat.
While Tampa Bay Buccaneers supporters would hate to see Tom Brady retire already, there would be worse ways to go than from the top of the NFL world.