The retirement watch begins in Tampa Bay when Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are eliminated from the playoffs
Brady, 44, is planning to take “a month or longer” to decide whether to play in 2022, ESPN reported before the Buccaneers hosted the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Round on Sunday afternoon. The game was ended after Metro went to print.
Brady led the Bucs to the Super Bowl last season and signed a restructured contract that includes next year.
The report indicates Brady and the Bucs are pleased with their partnership and mental and physical health are at the forefront of the conversation with Brady and his family.
He said in the past he would like to play until age 45 and perhaps beyond, and performance has not been an issue.
Brady led the NFL in passing yards with a career-high 5,316 yards while tossing 43 touchdown passes despite a revolving door at the wide receiver and tight end positions.
The offseason could bring drama to the quarterback position for more than half of the NFL’s 32 teams, led by prominent passers like Brady, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, and others.
Rodgers said he has a “tough decision” to make before the start of free agency about his future after Green Bay was eliminated from the postseason on Saturday night in a last-second loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
“I’m still super competitive, still know I can play at a high level, so it’s going to be a tough decision,” Rodgers said. “I have a lot of things to weigh in the coming weeks. But man, just so much gratitude for this city and this organization and such a long, long career here that I’m proud of and really thankful for all the men and women that work here, the men I’ve gotten to cross paths with, coaches and players over the years.”
Wilson first indicated last year that he wasn’t happy in Seattle and wanted the franchise to address the offensive line.
After missing the playoffs this season, Wilson said he would explore his options, but is under contract with the team. Therefore, a trade could be demanded at some point this offseason.
Should Brady retire, the Buccaneers would most likely be in the market for a quarterback, too. Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask, a second-round pick in 2021, are the team’s backup passers.
This report from Reuters features additional reporting from Metro Philadelphia’s Joe Pantorno.