Bucs Pro Bowler Gives Telling Update on Tom Brady Rumors

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady could still come out of retirement.

With training camp just around the corner, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are possibly talking to retired quarterback Tom Brady.

That’s coming from Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr., who interviewed on “The Richard Sherman Podcast” recently. Sherman, a retired cornerback, previously played with Brady in 2021 and against Brady for many years in the league.

“I’m sure we’re still reaching out to him trying to see if he’s trying to come back to the team,” Winfield told Sherman. “Hey, it could happen. Anything’s possible.”

Sherman echoed Winfield’s sentiment with the comment “I don’t put nothing past Brady” and that he’s “a crazy guy”. A five-time Pro Bowler, Sherman knows Brady’s competitive fire all too well — especially from their Super Bowl encounter in 2015.

“It’s up in the air, man,” Winfield clarified with Sherman.

Brady retired on February 1 and doubled down on his retirement last month in a Sports Illustrated interview. He keeps busy with his family and many business ventures — including a potential part ownership in the Las Vegas Raiders.

However, the league owners haven’t approved Brady’s part ownership of the team. That potentially leaves the door open for Brady to play for the Bucs.

Tom Brady Unretirement Happened Before

Brady briefly retired in February 2022 and came back before free agency began that March. Winfield, who played two seasons with Brady at the time, didn’t expect a comeback the first time around.

“When he first said he retired, I really thought that he was done,” Winfield told Sherman. “He surprised me when he came back.”

Brady led the Bucs to 8-9 record with an NFC South title, but the team got throttled by the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs. He threw for 4,694 yards and 25 touchdowns versus nine interceptions in his presumed final season of his 23-year career.

Tampa Bay still has a salary cap hit from Brady — $35 million in dead money. The Bucs opted to eat all of it this year and work the current roster around it.

In place of Brady, the Bucs signed free agent quarterback Baker Mayfield for $4 million in March. He’s been in competition with third-year quarterback Kyle Trask, a former second-round pick from the 2021 NFL Draft.

“It’s really 50-50 between those two guys,” Winfield told Sherman.

Tom Brady Could Repeat What Brett Favre Did

Historical precedent for a last-minute retirement exists among NFL quarterbacks. Brett Favre did it twice with the Minnesota Vikings in 2009 and 2010.

Favre retired after a season with the New York Jets in 2008, and he joined the Vikings in August 2009 after training camp began.  It didn’t stop him from producing a career year with 4,202 yards for 33 touchdowns versus seven interceptions.

In August 2010, three Vikings players left training camp to coax Favre back to the team. It worked but Favre didn’t pan out that year amid 2,509 yards for 11 touchdowns versus 19 interceptions.

Tampa Bay runs such a risk with Brady coming back last minute — unless the seven-time Super Bowl champion quietly kept up his offseason regiment. Brady recently told People Magazine that he keeps up his TB12 Diet but now for healthy living.

Bucs creamsicle jerseys with Brady’s No. 12 hitting store racks at least elicited humor over potential comeback. However, Brady wants his name on the throwbacks and is making money himself from those jerseys according to The Athletic via FOX 13’s Kevin O’Donnell.

If Brady returned, he would wear on the field against the Detroit Lions on October 15.