Tom Brady fans are getting used to saying goodbye. The seven-time Super Bowl champion retired last spring after 22 seasons in the NFL. The timing seemed perfect. The then 44-year-old had accomplished all there was accomplish in the league. The Buccaneers’ 30-27 loss to the Rams in the NFC Divisional Round was the right time for arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history to end his historic career. It wasn’t the desired Super Bowl win, but Brady was going out on a high note while still playing well.
After much speculation, Brady announced his retirement in a heartfelt social media post. Citing his desire to spend more time with his family and an admission that he would no longer make the “competitive commitment” needed to play at the highest level in the league, Brady had decided to retire. Six weeks later, Brady announced his un-retirement. Stating he had more to accomplish in the league, No. 12 would return for another season with the Buccaneers.
Monday, following the Bucs 31-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, a staggering wild card-loss that kept Brady off the scoreboard until the game’s fourth quarter — fans were again left wondering if they had just witnessed Brady’s last game in the NFL.
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The 2022-2023 NFL season hadn’t been easy for Tom Brady. The Bucs finished the season 8-9, Brady’s first losing season in his 23-year-career. Brady and his model wife Gisele Bündchen quietly ended their 13-year marriage, only announcing the demise of their relationship after the divorce had been finalized. Brady had never appeared anything but determined with eyes on the next season or win at the end of previous seasons. Following Monday’s game, the 45-year-old superstar quarterback was sullen, even defeated, after enduring a humbling loss to the Cowboys.
Though Brady wouldn’t answer journalists’ questions Monday about his future in the league, the California native was emotional in his post-game press conference — expressing gratitude to the journalists who had covered his storied career.
“I love this organization. It’s a great place to be. Thank you, everybody, for welcoming me,” he said humbly. “I’m very thankful for the respect and I hope I gave the same back.”
Brady becomes a free agent this summer and will likely be highly sought after should he choose to continue his NFL career. An extension with the Buccaneers is a possibility while other teams like the Las Vegas Raiders, whose own veteran quarterback Derek Carr announced he’s moving on from the team, could pursue Brady as well.
And though Brady, who was selected by the New England Patriots as the 199th overall pick in the 2001 NFL, hasn’t made a public announcement about his retirement — he is focused on the release of the upcoming feature film “80 For Brady”, which he produced. In the film based on a true story, Sally Field, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Rita Moreno star as four best friends who decide to live life to the fullest and take a road trip to see their idol,Tom Brady, play in the 2017 Super Bowl.
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Brady makes an appearance in the film himself, which may be the closet thing fans can get to see Tom Brady on a football field again.
Image: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire