Bucs Keep Tom Brady on Active Roster and Here’s Why

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady remains on the Buccaneers roster despite his recent retirement.

Tom Brady remains on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers active roster despite announcing his retirement on Tuesday, February 1.

It stayed that way through Friday with no transaction announced by the Bucs according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. An NFL team often puts a retired player on the reserve/retired list or release him, Volin wrote.

Brady, who is under contract for 2022, could remain on the roster until June according to CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin. The Bucs extended Brady’s contract after the 2020 season, which included three voidable years according to Over The Cap.

His stay on the roster comes down to the Bucs managing his contract and salary cap hit. Bucs general manager Jason Licht alluded to that in his press conference on Tuesday after Brady officially announced his retirement.

“That’s really a moot point. We’ve been talking with Tom’s agents,” Licht told the media. “We have a great relationship with Don Yee and Steve Dubin and we’ve been talking about that. That’s really a moot point and we knew that if we were in this scenario that we would be able to work that out. Besides, I don’t like to talk about contracts publicly, but we’ll be able to work that out.”

Why June?

If Brady played in 2022, the Bucs would pay him $20.3 million, but an immediate reserve/retired designation would be costly for the Bucs, Benjamin noted. The Bucs would take “a $32 million dead cap hit — and almost $11.8 million in lost salary cap space”, Benjamin wrote.

If the Bucs release Brady after June 1, the dead cap hit turns to $8 million, and “they’d instantly save $12.3 million”, Benjamin wrote.  The Bucs would take another $8 million hit in 2023 but save another $16 million, Benjamin added.

The Bucs could also work something out with Brady if the team chose to release him according to Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams. The Dallas Cowboys made a similar move with quarterback Tony Romo in 2017, Williams noted.

Tampa Bay owed Brady a $15 million bonus on Friday according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who received a copy of Brady’s contract. It had  nothing to do with Brady’s delay in announcing retirement, Florio wrote, because of the language in the contract. Florio also noted that Brady owes $16 million in unearned bonus money — something his agent and the Bucs could work out.

Brady to Follow in Romo’s Footsteps?

Brady could become a broadcaster, similar to Romo, who joined the CBS Sports NFL broadcast team in 2017.

A source told People Magazine that Brady “is fielding broadcasting offers”, Charlotte Triggs and Lindsay Kimble wrote. The source noted that “Tom wasn’t focused on broadcasting at all” upon retirement, Triggs and Kimble wrote.

“There are a lot of projects in the works. He also has crazy offers from networks who want him to be a broadcaster,” the source said per People Magazine.

Jason Hodes, Brady’s agent, also has received an “unprecedented volume of opportunities ranging from broadcast and streaming offers to publishing and brand deals” according to the source via People Magazine.

Brady said he mainly retired to spend more time with family, but fans could see more of him if the right broadcast offer comes along.