It is no longer just NFL pundits who believe Tom Brady has played his final game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Some of Brady’s own teammates are going public with their belief that Brady will not re-sign with the Bucs this offseason.
“Yet several players already have a feeling which direction he is leaning,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport wrote on January 21, 2023 before quoting two anonymous Tampa Bay players. “Based on their final interactions with Brady, it felt to them as if Brady was leaving Tampa with no intention to return.
“One said, ‘I’d be surprised if he’s back.’
“Another opined, ‘He sounded like a person saying goodbye for good.'”
Brady will officially be able to meet with teams on March 13 when free agency kicks off. The quarterback’s previous deal with the Buccaneers included a clause which prevents the team from utilizing the franchise tag putting the legendary signal-caller in complete control of his future.
Brady Is More Eager to Play Than QB Was Last Season: Report
While all signs point to Brady not being in Tampa next season, it does not mean the quarterback will hang up his cleats. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that Brady finds playing again more appealing than the legend did during this same time period last offseason.
“People close to Brady for the last two months have said all his options are on the table,” Pelissero explained during a January 19 interview on “The Rich Eisen Show.” “He is showing that he seems more open to coming back [to] play another year than he did certainly a year ago at this time when he retired and un-retired. But even back in September, he’s had major changes in his life during that time, and some of those family dynamics will come into play, too.
“Where his parents live, the fact that his children are on the East Coast. Does he want to relocate to the West Coast? Go back to San Francisco or go to Las Vegas or wherever it might be? Those are all things you have to take into account.”
Raiders Plan to Aggressively Pursue Brady in Free Agency: Report
If Brady does not retire, where will the star quarterback land, barring a late change of heart with the Bucs? The Raiders, Titans, Jets, Dolphins and Commanders have all been discussed as teams that could be in pursuit of Brady’s services.
Las Vegas continues to be the most popular rumor with Brady’s longtime Patriots offensive coordinator Josh Mcdaniels coaching the Raiders. As the team looks to trade former Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Carr, the Raiders plan to be “very aggressive” in attempting to lure Brady away from Tampa, per CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones.
“The Las Vegas Raiders plan to be very aggressive in their pursuit of quarterback Tom Brady this offseason, according to multiple sources,” Jones detailed on January 15.
“…The Raiders would very likely have some competition for Brady, though. Could the 49ers be interested? The Dolphins could take another run at Brady. And wherever Sean Payton ends up could also be a landing spot for the GOAT.”
Brady may be frustrated with how the Buccaneers season went, but would the Raiders increase the quarterback’s chances to win an eighth Super Bowl? Las Vegas plays in the challenging AFC West and within the same conference as Josh Allen’s Bills and Joe Burrow’s Bengals. Brady’s pathway to the Super Bowl appears to be clearer in the NFC, but the early signs point to the quarterback not believing it is with the Buccaneers.