Bucs’ Tom Brady Looked ‘Miserable’ at Practice, NFL Insider Says

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady remains away from the Buccaneers until after August 20.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady‘s sudden absence raises many questions — even for an insider who has covered Brady for almost a decade.

“I do wonder where his head is at right now… He was so good at 44, there is no doubt in our minds that if Brady is fully committed he can have a terrific season at 45, but there are definitely signs that his head is not fully into it,” Boston Globe reporter Ben Volin said on FS1’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on Thursday, August 11.

Volin has covered Brady since 2013 with both the New England Patriots and now the Bucs. That included attending Brady’s last practice with the Bucs on Wednesday, August 10, before the team confirmed Brady’s absence through August 20.

“I try not to be the body language police, but I was at Bucs practice yesterday and he looked miserable,” Volin told Cowherd. “I don’t think he loves the humidity in Tampa; it is very swampy out here every morning. His buddy Gronk has retired, that’s his running mate, that’s his guy, and now he looks all over the field and he’s throwing to Kyle Rudolph, Chris Godwin is banged up and we’re not sure when he’s going to be himself again. Brady’s center [Ryan Jensen] goes down.”

Injuries didn’t stop with Jensen. Hamstring injuries hobbled receivers Mike Evans and Russell Gage over the last week. In addition, offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs and Robert Hainsey had scares with cramps at practice over the past two weeks.

“There are just a lot of things going on with the team, and we also know playing with the Bucs was not his number one wish this year,” Volin added.

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Brady’s Plan ‘A’ Thwarted?

“If he got his way he would be running the Dolphins, and the only reason he went back to the Bucs was because he really had no other options,” Volin told Cowherd.

Brady’s last practice notably involved a joint practice with the Dolphins a week after the franchise got penalized for tampering with Brady in 2019 and 2021. Brady missed two practices the week of the Dolphins’ tampering penalty news. He notably didn’t have a press conference this week, and the Dolphins players and coaches likewise stayed mum about the issue.

“He had an excused absence last week around his birthday and the local reporters down here were holding their breath, they thought this was it and that Tom Brady had had a change of heart, and that he was going to retire,” Volin told Cowherd. “Now Todd Bowles announces that Tom Brady was not at practice, and he’s gone through next week, through the second preseason game, and gone another 10 days, so I definitely question where his head is at.”

Amid Bowles and Bucs general manager Jason Licht claiming there’s little to no concern, Bucs linebacker Devin White voiced a different-sounding message. White said “he’s got personal problems going on” but expressed confidence in Brady returning ready for the season.

“It might be related to a health thing, whether it’s related to his parents or a family member — if that’s the case then certainly it’s going to be a distraction also, so it does seem like Brady is not 100% focused on football,” Volin told Cowherd.