“League sources indicated that Brady’s time away from the team included a trip to the Bahamas at an exclusive resort and primarily for family time with his wife, Gisele Bundchen,” Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson reported on Sunday, August 21. “His commitment to family and having a personal life was at the heart of this hiatus from football, and there was no medical emergency, as speculated, or other reasons.”
When Brady’s absence began on August 11, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Jason Licht said it was planned and not a concern. Speculation ensued anyway among the media and fans — including a theory that Brady participated in “The Masked Singer” filming while away.
Bucs insider Greg Auman of The Athletic consulted FOX public relations staff for “The Masked Singer” shortly before Brady’s return amid the rumors. Auman shared his request via Twitter and noted the obstacle of the “wild publicity for the show” for getting an answer from FOX. He asked FOX to “shoot that [rumor] down” or “least clarify that the show isn’t taping right now” in an effort to “put out the fire” on the Brady rumor. Auman added that FOX hasn’t responded.
“This is gold for a show built on anonymity,” Auman tweeted.
Fellow Bucs insider Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweeted fitting a perfect comeback to Auman’s request.
“So a show built on anonymity doesn’t want to reveal anything? Shocking,” Stroud wrote.
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Cam Brate: ‘He Couldn’t Do Worse at Masked Singer Than Gronk’
While the theory of Brady’s participation in “The Masked Singer” came out of left field, Brady at least has two former teammates who appeared on the show — Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown.
Bucs tight end Cameron Brate, who worked closely with Gronkowski the past two seasons, weighed in on the theory of Brady’s “Masked Singer” appearance.
“He couldn’t do worse at Masked Singer than Gronk, Brate told the media on Monday.
Mystery Amid Silence
The Bucs said little of Brady’s absence, and Brady went silent on social media during that period. It left the mainstream media and dissect the few words from players and coaches alike.
Bucs linebacker Devin White caused Brady’s absence to sound possibly serious when he said Brady has “personal problems” that same day, but White also sounded confident about Brady’s return. Bowles’ brief comment on August 18 on not knowing the exact date of Brady’s return also toked the fires of speculation, but Bowles clarified on August 19 in an interview with Stroud that he did know when Brady would return.
Bucs defensive back Logan Ryan also expressed assurance of Brady’s return during a recent Outkick 360 podcast — something that linebacker Lavonte Davide doubled down after Monday’s practice.
“No doubt at all,” David said about Brady returning. “Whatever time they said he was going to be out, I knew that whenever it was time to come back, it was time to come back, he was going to come back.”