When Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on the Dallas Cowboys on Monday in the final game of the NFL’s Wild Card playoff round, many felt that Brady’s experience and resourcefulness would deliver a way for his team.
But that didn’t even remotely come to pass, as the Bucs were up-ended by Dallas, 31-14.
Brady looked like a mere mortal, going just 35 of 66 and posting a meager passer rating of 72.2.
Jayron Kearse intercepts Brady in the end zone! #SuperWildCard
— NFL (@NFL) January 17, 2023
Once again, the football world is rife with speculation that he will retire again, this time for good.
Although he perked up a couple of times this season, such as when he led Tampa Bay to a thrilling come-from-behind win on Monday Night Football over the New Orleans Saints in Week 13, by and large, Brady looked over the hill this season.
At this point, he needs to retire.
The law of diminishing returns seems to apply here, and he has nothing left to prove anyway after seven Super Bowl championships, three regular season MVPs, four Super Bowl MVPs and the acknowledgment from just about everyone that he’s the greatest player in NFL history.
Way too often, great athletes keep playing a bit too long, either because of pride, an attempt to win a world championship or possibly even for the money, and we’re left with some final memories of them being a thin shell of their former selves.
Someone like John Elway retiring right after winning a ring while still playing at or near a high level is the exception rather than the rule.
There is speculation that Brady may end up leaving the Bucs for one last hurrah with a team such as the Las Vegas Raiders, but he would be, at best, a one-year placeholder, and an expensive one at that.
He would be better off calling it quits and letting an impressive crop of young quarterbacks fully take the reins.