If Tom Brady returns for a 24th season, some members of the Buccaneers organization are saying it won’t be with Tampa Bay.
According to anonymous Bucs insiders, Brady seems to be acting as if he is saying goodbye to everyone, not just for the offseason, but permanently, the NFL Network reported.
“I’d be surprised if he’s back,” one team member reportedly said, while another insisted that Brady’s address to teammates “sounded like a person saying goodbye for good.”
After the Bucs lost to the Cowboys in an embarrassing coda to their season this year, Brady said that he had not made a decision about continuing his NFL career and was going to take it “one day at a time.” But he also ended his last presser by thanking the media for their coverage in what many felt seemed like a goodbye speech.
“Hopefully, you know, I love this organization,” Brady said wrapping up the press availability. “It’s a great place to be. I love everyone for welcoming me, all you regulars. And just very grateful for the respect, and I hope I gave the same thing back to you guys. So thank you very much.”
Brady is planning on going as a free agent for next season — he will then be 46 — and already several teams, including the Raiders, Titans, and the 49ers, are reportedly interested in picking him up.
Brady had his first losing season in two decades this year. And the Bucs have already engaged in deep cuts of their coaching staff on the tail of this frustrating year with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich topping the list.
Official announcement on the Bucs coaching staff overhaul: pic.twitter.com/UEMy4X3cUF
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 19, 2023
If Brady should also leave, the team will be stuck with a $35.1 million salary cap, the New York Post added.
Whether he finally — and for real — retires, Brady has a standing offer of $375 million to do sports commentary for Fox Sports.