Former teammate and one-time Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman fell into the outrageous camp when he joked on social media about Brady retiring at 80 years of age. Brady returned the favor with a joke about them in competition together at the age — in shuffleboard instead of football however.
“80 for Brady’ will also be the title of the doc made about Tom’s retirement,” Edelman wrote.
“Nah, you and I will be defending our seventh-straight Florida Senior Shuffleboard title by then,” Brady reacted.
The conversation came about over the promotion of their movie, “80 for Brady”, which tells the story of four New England Patriots fans on a road trip to Super Bowl LI. That’s the Big Game where Brady rallied the Patriots from 28-3 down against the Atlanta Falcons. Former Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski, a member of the Patriots at the time, also appears in the movie.
Brady said in the offseason that he tried to lure both Gronkowski and Edelman to Tampa Bay for this season but to no avail. Gronkowski remains retired, and he currently appears on FOX’s NFL pregame show. Edelman teased joining the Bucs during the past two years since his retirement from the Patriots after the 2020 season, but he reiterated that he will only play for the Patriots if he ever comes back.
For now, Brady will make the best of a Bucs wide receiver corps that improved in health and gained steam over the past two games. He also has rookie tight end Cade Otton to target amid his improved play.
Otton to Rotate with Cameron Brate
While the Bucs drafted Otton in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft as Gronkowski insurance, the Bucs expected veteran tight end Cameron Brate to play a larger role without Gronkowski.
Otton took on a larger role instead amid Brate’s concussion in Week 4 and neck injury in Week 6. The former Washington star produced his best game thus far in Week 9 with five catches for 68 yards and a game-winning touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams.
His improved play continued with three catches for 35 yards in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks — the fourth time in five games where he averaged more than 11 yards per catch. Brate returned for the Seahawks game and caught a pass for eight yards. Bucs head coach Todd Bowles anticipates that Brate will play more snaps in the coming weeks but keep Otton in the mix.
“It will be rotational,” Bowles told reporters on Monday, November 14. “Obviously, we have guys we like to rotate in with Cam and Cade and Ko [Kieft] as well, so it will be a rotational basis depending on what we have up.”
Kieft, whom the Bucs drafted in the sixth round this year for his blocking skills, carved out a role as a pass-catcher, too. He has four receptions for 52 yards this season.
Julio Jones Boosts Bucs Passing Game
Julio Jones‘ 31-yard catch-and-run touchdown plus another two catches for 22 yards provided a lift in the Bucs passing game in Week 10. Jones had been limited since Week 1 due to a PCL tear in his knee.
“[Those are] some of the things [we saw] when we signed him. Hopefully, he’s getting over that hump now — he played well,” Bowles told reporters. “He gives us an added dimension, he takes some pressure off of the other two receivers that we have right now and he opens up the run game some. What really went unnoticed — he did a fantastic job of blocking down the field. The receivers did a great job of blocking and giving Rachaad [White] some extra yardage.”