Tom Brady’s Return Has Unintended Ripple Effect: Analysis

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could see longtime rival Drew Brees again in 2022.

Tom Brady‘s return has an unintended ripple effect, and it could make things more challenging for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Longtime rival quarterback and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, 43, has interest in coming back after a year away from the game. The former New Orleans Saints superstar teased a comeback when he mentioned “I may play football again” in a tweet on Sunday, May 15.

“Despite speculation from media about my future this fall, I’m currently undecided,” Brees wrote. “I may work for NBC, I may play football again, I may focus on business and philanthropy, I may train for the pickleball tour, senior golf tour, coach my kids or all of the above. I’ll let you know.”

Drew Brees


Brees also gushed over recently-acquired Saints Jarvis Landry and Tyrann Mathieu. Brees wrote that it “makes me want to come back and play again”.

NFL Analyst Skip Bayless claims that Brady’s unretirement on March 13 could be moving Brees to consider a return. Brees last played football in January 2021 when the Bucs beat the Saints 30-20.

“What I believe about Drew Brees is that he watched Brady retire and unretire, and I think it tore him apart just like it tears up LeBron to have to sit and watch this year’s playoffs,” Bayless said on FS1’s “Undisputed” on Tuesday, May 17. “It’s hard on a great player. And especially in the case of Drew Brees…to watch a guy who’s actually a year and a half older than he is to come back and suddenly a lot of people are picking the Bucs to win it all.”

“They’re right at the top of the odds. And they should be and I’m picking the winner at all,” Bayless added about the Bucs. “I think he [Brady] could have another at least MVP caliber year. I thought he should have won it last year. This is all ripping at the heart of Drew Brees because at his heart, he is a gamer.”

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Bucs Likely Won’t See Brees Either Way in Week 2

If Brees does return, the Bucs will likely only see him once this season.

Brees will need to recover from recent shoulder surgery before playing again according to ESPN’s Ed Werder. The surgery happened around early May, and Brees “would be physically unable to play until at least September or October, per a source”, Werder reported.

Either way, the Bucs have a seven-game regular losing streak against the Saints to extinguish, and the last two losses came without Brees. Winning or losing will likely come down to the trenches, as ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky noted.

“Tampa Bay’s a very good football team, but no one is respecting or paying enough attention to the New Orleans Saints,” Orlovsky said via “This defensive line that has dominated the Buc offensive line in the past few years is still intact and the Buc offensive line is worse than it was last year.”

Sigh of Relief?

Saints head coach Dennis Allen and general manager Mickey Loomis don’t expect a Brees comeback.

“I think it was a comment made in jest, and we certainly haven’t had any conversations in that regard,” Allen said about Brees’ tweet via ESPN.

Loomis wants to “stay away” from the topic per ESPN. For now, the Saints will have former Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston starting again this fall after sustaining an ACL tear in 2021.

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