Is he or isn’t he?
There was no question after the Bucs won the Super Bowl last year; Brady was coming back to try for the back-to-back titles.
The Bucs fell short this season, and the whispers started coming before they even took the field against the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional playoff game last weekend.
Since the loss to the Rams, the talk is getting louder.
Tom Brady opens up on potential retirement.
If this is the end, you got to witness one of the greatest sports careers of all time🐐 @brgridiron
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 25, 2022
Brady is saying things that could imply he will not finish out his contract with Tampa Bay.
He is contracted for the 2022 season.
What Brady Is Saying
Brady has always maintained that his retirement will be a family decision.
It will not just be about his ability or desire to play the game.
“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.”
#Bucs QB 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." pic.twitter.com/RlAJM35E2m
— Notoriety Sports Network ™ (@notorietysports) January 25, 2022
It does not seem as though he has made a firm decision.
If he had, he would have shared it by now.
Also on the podcast, he said:
“I’ll know when the time is right, and there’s no rush to make a decision.”
Final word from Brady (on his "Let's Go" podcast) on his future: "I'll know when the time is right, and there's no rush to make a decision." #Bucs
— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) January 24, 2022
The Gisele Factor
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting that Brady’s wife Gisele Bundchen is playing a big role in this decision.
“There’s a belief that Mrs. Brady, otherwise known as Gisele Bundchen, has laid down the law with her husband. That, regardless of whether he wants to keep playing in 2022 and beyond, she’s telling him that 22 seasons are more than enough.”
Brady had a goal of playing until he was 45 years old.
He will be 45 on August 3, 2022.
Brady has one year remaining on his contract.
Should he choose to retire, he would owe the Buccaneers $16 million of his signing bonus.
Brady told the Bucs he planned to play in '22 before signing his revised contract back in March. But over the last couple weeks or so, the drumbeat's gotten louder on the idea he could walk away.@NFLSTROUD wrote a good column on it the other day: https://t.co/5BGmKZpWeY. https://t.co/uF9tEpcWYC
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 23, 2022
Can The Bucs Stay Together?
Last offseason, the Buccaneers worked out a way to keep all 22 starting players together for the 2021 season.
That seems less certain going into 2022.
Could that be weighing on Brady as well?
Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, whom Brady has grown close to since arriving in Tampa, is a leading candidate for head coaching jobs and could also be out of Tampa before next season.
Bucs’ OC Byron Leftwich is scheduled to have his second HC interview with the Jaguars on Tuesday, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 24, 2022
There’s never gonna be another player that brought me as much joy watching the game of football than Tom Brady. It’s not close.
If this is the end then, it’s truly saddening but I also understand. Family first.
— Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) January 25, 2022
We know the day is coming.
Whether it is in 2022 or 2023, Brady’s retirement is imminent.
When Brady retires, we know that there will never be another player like him again in the NFL.
His personal and team accomplishments and amazing longevity will be unparalleled; he has nothing left to prove or do to establish himself as the GOAT.
He will be in the Hall of Fame in five years, but we will miss seeing him compete each Sunday.