The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might not enjoy this latest report on Tom Brady’s future in football.
According to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Brady will consider “all options” entering the 2023 season. Not only does that mean that Brady could retire, but it also means he could return to play and test free agency. That would mean that Brady could leave the Buccaneers after three seasons with the team.
“Multiple sources close to the legendary quarterback say all options are on the table for Brady, who at age 45 feels good enough to keep playing and once again has the Buccaneers in playoff position entering today’s game against the 49ers.”
Why Brady Could Leave the Buccaneers in 2023
The Buccaneers are currently 6-6 entering their Week 14 matchup versus the San Francisco 49ers and lead the NFC South division. However, the offensive unit has struggled all season long, averaging just 18.1 points per game, ranking 27th in the league. In fact, Tampa Bay scored just three points up until the last three minutes of their 17-16 victory over the New Orleans Saints in Week 13.
While Brady’s play has remained strong, it’s clear that the roster isn’t as strong as it was just two years prior when Tampa Bay won Super Bowl LV. The absences of key players on the offensive line such as Ryan Jensen, Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa combined with the departure of playmakers Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown have played a major role in the offense’s decline.
Brady could test the free agency market and sign with a team looking for a quarterback that has Super Bowl aspirations.
“Could he sign elsewhere? There surely are teams that regret not trying harder to sign Brady three years ago. Even at 45, he’d be an upgrade (albeit likely a short-term one) over plenty of QBs starting now. Over half the league has QB questions entering this offseason. If Brady feels his best chance to win another Super Bowl is not in Tampa, it makes sense he’d look to move on for the right situation. Family considerations surely will play into any decision, as they did in 2020, with his children currently living on the East Coast.”
Brady Has Several Potential Destinations in Free Agency
There are a number of destinations that have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Brady in 2023, including his hometown 49ers, the Josh McDaniels-led Las Vegas Raiders and Brady’s former team, the New England Patriots.
The Athletic’s Jeff Howe explains how the 49ers could make a move for Brady, who has long desired to play for his childhood team.
“They’re well-coached by Kyle Shanahan, and they’ve got a championship-caliber roster,” says Howe. “While they’ve also got a potential franchise quarterback Trey Lance in waiting, the 49ers should favor a proven veteran over an inexperienced QB, regardless of Lance’s astronomical potential.”
Despite being by far the oldest player in the league at the age of 45, Brady remains one of the better quarterbacks in the league. If he chooses to return for another season, he’ll have his pick of the litter when it comes to options in free agency.
Unless Tampa Bay plays better down the stretch, Brady could opt to leave the Buccaneers.