After a disappointing 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, NFL fans may be wondering what’s next for Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
After all, reports started to snowball this weekend that Brady could potentially retire this off-season.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 23, 2022
I thought about crafting up a long, drawn-out introduction explaining Brady’s accomplishments, legacy, and importance to the game of football. But we’ve gotten way too much of that over the last several years.
So let’s just cut to the chase: Tom Brady is going to retire.
According to our friends at BetOnline.ag however, Brady is very likely to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer again next season. Here are the odds:
Will Tom Brady be on the Buccaneers Week 1, 2022?
Here are four reasons why I would take the +400 odds that he not only will not be a Buc, but will retire:
Man in the Arena Episode 10
The fact that we didn’t see the final episode of Brady’s ESPN+ documentary this past week was… fishy to say the least. The 10-part series was supposed to end last Tuesday. Even without retirement even being a factor, finishing the series right in the middle of the postseason would have been a strange thing to do.
There will be a 10th episode of #ManintheArena, but it’s still in production and likely out in Spring. As @TomBrady said in #Episode9, perspective comes with time and space so he wanted that to really reflect on what went down in Tampa last year. Be patient – it’ll be worth it!
— Gotham Chopra (@gothamchopra) January 19, 2022
My theory is that if they had lost to Philly last weekend, the episode would have come out as scheduled and would have been a retirement announcement. They can’t air the episode yet because their season isn’t over and Brady doesn’t want to announce his retirement mid-season. Just something to think about.
The Wide Receiver Room
The Buccaneers have had easily the best weaponry in the NFL over the last two seasons. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown are elite targets to be able to throw to every week, and having your boyfriend Rob Gronkowski as a security blanket certainly helps too.
This room, however, has quickly dwindled over the last several weeks – and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any better.
Chris Godwin tore his ACL in week 15 – and is also set to become a free agent this offseason. Godwin has been the top target in Tampa, catching 279 passes from Brady over the past two years. He was franchise tagged last offseason and could be a goner unless the Bucs back up the Brinks truck.
The Antonio Brown situation speaks for itself, he’s a problem who shouldn’t be in an NFL locker room. But not having him hurts the offense. Brady and Brown had connected on 95 throws for 1,109 yards and 10 touchdowns since he arrived in the Bay.
Mike Evans is the only difference maker left. Sure, he has 1,000 yards in each of his first seven seasons – an NFL record – but I’m not sure that’s what will keep Brady around.
The Coaching Staff
First of all, you can not have your head coach hitting players. That’s probably first page, rule number one in “NFL Head Coaching for Dummies”.
Obviously, this specific instance of Bruce Arians striking safety Andrew Adams in the back of the head last Sunday will not be the reason Brady retires, but these little things build up over the years – and Brady might be done with it.
On top of the Arians nonsense, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is a top head coaching candidate in the NFL right now. He has interviews with the Bears and the Jaguars – and looks to be on his way out of Tampa Bay.
Leftwich and Brady have built a solid relationship together. At age 44 going on 45, do you really think the GOAT wants to learn another offensive scheme again? Or even worse, have to teach it to a young gun? I don’t think so.
This one is the be-all and end-all for Brady. As you can tell from his post-game press conferences, his Tom vs. Time series, and his Man in the Arena documentary, Tom Brady’s family has become close to the center of attention for him. In the end, however, it seems like football is always the trump card. In terms of actually retiring, Brady’s schtick has always been two things:
- He wants to play until age 45
- He will play until his play has deteriorated.
This narrative, however, is now changing. When asked by Tampa Bay Times Rick Stroud about potentially hanging it up this offseason, Brady said that he will, “have to just, after every year think about what the situation looks like for me, personally and professionally, and obviously I love playing I don’t think my love will ever go away. I think I’ll be able to do it it’s just – you know, the other things that are kind of happening in my life in regards to family situations and my kids are, you know not getting younger so I want to make sure that they get what they need too.”
Tom Brady on how he will know when it’s time to retire, a question he’s asked about every week. pic.twitter.com/Z7CmcGeEbl
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) December 9, 2021
Brady can still play football. He is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. However, with all of these external factors coming into play – his teammates, his coaches, and his family – I think he will ultimately call it a career this offseason.
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