He is the greatest football player of all time and at the age of 44, it appeared as if Tom Brady was set to call it quits on an incredible career.
News outlets carried stories over the weekend that Brady was going to retire, and plaudits came in from the great and good across the NFL, wishing Tom Brady well in his future and complimenting him on being the best player they ever played with or against.
Only hang fire, just a short time after the story broke, there was conflicting news that Brady was not yet ready to confirm that he was set to hang up his cleats.
Since then, the whole situation has become somewhat farcical with many outlets now claiming that Brady will retire, not just now and indeed, nobody really seems to know when the superstar will make it official.
With Brady believed to be away on vacation and out of the country, speculation seems to suggest that the QB, in tandem with the Buccaneers hierarchy want to release the news at a time of their choosing.
And perhaps without other teams knowing that the Bucs are likely to be heavily in the market for a signal caller – although that cat has now been let out of the bag.
From @NFLNetwork: Tom Brady does intend to retire, per several people close to him. The pushback appears to be based on timing, rather than his eventual decision. pic.twitter.com/GSTqDkKcjF
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 29, 2022
So Why The Delay If Brady Has Called It A Day?
So if the reporters are right and Tom Brady has decided to call it a day, then why
“File:20160917 Tom Brady at Michigan Stadium.jpg” by Brad Muckenthaler is licensed under CC BY 4.0
hasn’t the Tampa Bay star come out and just announced it?
After all, Ben Roethlisberger, another lock-in Hall of Famer, announced his expected retirement from playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers late last week with the minimum of fuss.
Looking at the whole situation, I think there is an element of control here.
Brady is someone who is very much in control of his life, situation and brand and I think the quarterback would have liked to have made the announcement on his terms, when and where he wanted to.
Maybe Brady would liked to have signed a one-day contract back with the New England Patriots before retiring so he could retire at the team where he spent 20 of his 22-year career?
However, there may also be other considerations in play here. Brady may have certain financial targets which he may achieve by remaining an active part of the Tampa Bay roster for even just a few more weeks.
Equally, his retirement could impinge on forthcoming sponsorship and commercial deals.
One thing is sure, if Brady’s career is anything to go by, he will have wanted to wait until the most advantageous time for him and his teams to announce the deal.
Only it seems that someone in his team, at least somewhere along the line, seems to have pre-empted that.
Who Could The Bucs Target If Brady Does Retire?
A big issue to consider here is what Tampa Bay would do if Brady does retire. There is a very good chance that if Brady does decide to leave, then many of Tampa Bay’s 23 free agents, including his great friend Rob Gronkowski, could also call it a day too.
Essentially, this could well mean the end of the Bruce Arians golden-oldie era in Tampa Bay if Brady’s departure has a domino effect on other players in the team.
It could also mean that players like Chris Godwin, Ryan Jensen and Carlton Davis III, who are other free agents, may have some other things to consider as to whether he will re-sign with the Bucs or not.
One thing is certain, if Blaine Gabbert is the plan going forward, then Bucs fans are likely to see a drop off in performance next season. Which makes them likely moves in the end of season markets for a quarterback.
However, with the forthcoming draft somewhat lacking in elite QB talent, talented young quarterbacks already well-established in their teams on multi-year deals, it may well be a veteran free agent that the Bucs target.
Aaron Rodgers would be an obvious replacement, but does Rodgers want to move to the East coast? His preference seems to be for the West and ideally a return to California (or maybe Nevada), if he doesn’t stay in Green Bay that is.
So perhaps, with so much banking on his decision, it is little wonder that Brady may have poured cold water on this weekend’s announcement.
But it may only be a matter of time before it is made official, at which point we will play proper tribute to the greatest player of all time.