Anew report suggests the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are officially in the market for a new quarterback as Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL after 22 seasons, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington on Saturday, January 29. The news is not only surprising to the NFL world, but the Buccaneers were also caught off guard.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians told the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud that the team had not been made aware of a decision by Brady.
“Pump the brakes for a bit,” Stroud tweeted approximately 20 minutes after Schefter’s initial tweet on Brady’s impending retirement. “Tom Brady has not informed the Bucs of his plans to retire. ‘No, he hasn’t that we know of,’ Bruce Arians told me. ‘Agent (Donald Yee) just told us he hasn’t made up his mind.’”
The Athletic’s Greg Auman also reported that Brady, who according to Patriots insider Tom E. Curran is currently out of the country, “hasn’t told the Bucs yet” which appears to be creating some confusion within the franchise about their QB1.
According to sources of FanSided national NFL insider Matt Lombardo, Arians and general manager Jason Licht “were admittedly surprised by the Tom Brady reports, but laughed them off because Brady hasn’t told them one way or another.”
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Brady Has Not Officially Made a Retirement Announcement
Schefter and Darlington detailed the factors that went into Brady’s decision. The Bucs quarterback appears to be reluctant to make the official announcement, fearing it would overshadow the NFL playoffs.
“When Brady, widely considered the greatest quarterback in NFL history, left the field following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams last week, he knew it was likely his final act as a football player, sources said,” Darlington and Schefter detailed on January 29. “In the days since, he has spent time digesting that mindset and is preparing his retirement announcement along with the next chapter of his life and career, sources said.
“Sources said that Brady’s decision to retire is based on several factors, including family and health. While less significant, Brady also recognizes that the Buccaneers are likely to undergo significant roster turnover, sources said.”
Despite a follow-up statement from Brady’s agent Don Yee and Brady’s father, Tom Brady Sr., calling Schefter’s initial report “total conjecture,” fellow insider Ian Rapoport also reported that the seven-time Super Bowl champion “does intend to retire” and that “the pushback appears to be based on timing.”
Brady, who signed a one-year contract extension in March 2021 through the 2022 season, is also due $15 million of that deal’s $20 million signing bonus on February 4, 2022, according to CBS Sports NFL salary cap expert Joel Corry.
Brady on Decision: ‘It’s Not Always What I Want, It’s What We Want as a Family’
Adding to the confusion, Brady’s own company tweeted about his retirement before later deleting the message reading “7 Super Bowl Rings. 5 Super Bowl MVPs. 3 League MVP Awards. 22 Incredible Seasons. Thank you for it all, @TomBrady.”
The rumors of Brady’s retirement started to heat up prior to the Buccaneers’ loss to the Rams in the Divisional Round.
During his Let’s Go! podcast, Brady hinted at potentially retiring and cited his family as the biggest factor in his decision.
“As I’ve gotten older, I think the best part is football is extremely important in my life and it means a lot to me and I care a lot about what we’re trying to accomplish as a team, and I care a lot about my teammates,” Brady explained during the January 24 episode. “And the biggest difference now that I’m older is I have kids now, too, and I care about them a lot as well.
“They’ve been my biggest supporters. My wife is my biggest supporter. It pains her to see me get hit out there. She deserves what she needs from me as a husband, and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad. I’m going to spend some time with them and give them what they need cuz they’ve really been giving me what I need the last six months to do what I love to do.
“You know, I said this a few years ago, it’s what relationships are all about. It’s not always what I want, it’s what we want as a family. I’m going to spend a lot of time with them and figure out in the future what’s next.”
No Retirement Tour for TB12
The news means there will be no retirement tour for Brady like we saw for Ben Roethlisberger and other legendary quarterbacks. Brady will retire after a disappointing loss to the Rams but the NFL legend indicated on Instagram that it would not factor into his decision.
“I always want to win, I think that’s pretty apparent by now, but that doesn’t mean I equate losing to failure, especially when you go out fighting the way we did,” Brady posted on Instagram on January 25. “There’s so much to appreciate in a season like this when you’re surrounded by a team that believes in each other, and plays for the people standing on either side of them. I’ll spare you the Man in the Arena quote, but that feeling is something that I promise I’ll never take for granted. To everyone that was a part of it this year, thank you. I love you all!”