It was like a sequel of countless come-from-behind scripts he completed in the past.
His team looked lethargic after trailing 27-3.
But the 44-year-old quarterback can make things happen as long as there’s time on the clock.
“I haven’t put a lot of thought into it. So, we’ll just take it day by day and see where we’re at.”
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 24, 2022
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, and the Rams escaped via a walk-off field goal.
The defeat revived questions about Brady’s football future, particularly his potential retirement.
Yet if that loss was his last game in the NFL, he deserves a better way to go out.
Brady At A Crossroads
He openly declared that he wanted to play until he was 45 years old.
Brady can achieve that goal if he returns for a 24th season.
Ironically, he looks like he’s getting started because there are no indications of slowing down.
He led the league in passing yards (5,316) and touchdowns (43) during the regular season.
— NFL (@NFL) January 23, 2022
The California native had nine games of at least 300 yards, including three games of 400 yards or more.
More importantly, despite injuries to his targets on offense, he led the Buccaneers to a 13-4 record.
Physically, he can make another run and possibly add an eighth Super Bowl win to his resume.
However, he seemed to drop hints about his decision on his Let’s Go podcast, as Tampa Bay Times writer Rick Stroud tweeted.
Tom Brady on his Let’s Go podcast about his wife and family and football. “It pains her to see me get hit out there. And she deserves what she needs from me as a husband and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) January 25, 2022
Statements like those could come from a man who has nothing to prove and is ready to start another phase of his life.
Brady went on with his response, saying that he also finds joy outside of football.
Tom Brady on Let’s Go pod “Playing football I get so much joy from. I love it. But not playing football, there's a lot of joy in that for me also now, too, with my kids getting older and seeing them develop and grow. So all these things need to be considered and they will be.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) January 25, 2022
Based on his sentiments, he could not care less about having one year left in his contract with the Buccaneers.
He’s happy with his accomplishments in the game and has no reservations about moving on.
But being the ultimate competitor, there must be some urge within him to chase a better ending to his stellar career.
The Buccaneers hope that the voice that tells him to return will prevail.
— Overtime (@overtime) January 18, 2022
After all, Brady still has one of the better teams around him, especially on the offensive line.
It feels right to make another run from a professional and emotional standpoint.
Sending Him Off Like A Legend
Brady’s accomplishments and credentials make him a surefire Hall of Famer once he becomes eligible.
But if he’s to hang up his cleats for good, the fans would like to say a proper goodbye.
Those who have supported him would love to see him compete while knowing that the curtains are closing.
Meanwhile, those inspired by his on-field determination would love to send their appreciation to the man that helped them fight seemingly insurmountable odds.
"I said a long time ago when I suck I'll retire but what I really meant was when I'm not capable of leading the team to victory then someone else will have to do the job."
— NESN (@NESN) January 14, 2022
Even those who find nothing positive about him can chirp their criticism from the stands one last time.
Be careful with the bashing, though, because it makes Brady perform better.
That said, the 2022 season must be his swan song to leave the game at peace.
After that disappointing defeat, he gets a chance to redeem the Buccaneers and come to terms with the result if they fall short again.
No tip of the cap, no wave 'bye' to the fans, no one-last-look-back at the field…
— Kyle Burger (@kyle_burger) January 24, 2022
However, there’s nothing better than ending his career as a champion.
If that result doesn’t happen, he gets to hear tributes from coaches, executives, players, and the fans.
The greatest player in the game should have the best farewell tour in league history.NEXT: Antonio Brown Continues To Go After The Buccaneers On Social Media