Tom Brady taking time to decide NFL future, but Bucs players think QB is leaving, per report

Tom Brady’s future in the NFL is once again up in the air. After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were eliminated from the postseason at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys on Super Wild Card Weekend, all focus has now shifted to what the 45-year-old quarterback will do next. Naturally, retirement is a consideration given Brady’s age and the fact that he briefly retired last offseason. However, there is also a possibility that Brady will continue to play, albeit somewhere other than with Tampa Bay, as he is slated to be a free agent this offseason.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion plans to take time to decide his future, with the hope that with a little time off, he will have a clearer mind to evaluate his next step, according to the NFL Network. However, the report also says that various Buccaneers players were left with the impression that Brady is set to leave Tampa with no intention of returning based on their final interactions with him.

One player told NFL Media he would “be surprised if he’s back,” while another said, “He sounded like a person who said goodbye for good.”

player head shot

It jives with Brady’s last minute during the press after the match after the loss to Dallas where he ended his press conference with what appeared to be a public farewell to the Buccaneers.

“I love this organization, it’s a great place to be,” Brady said. “Thank you all for welcoming me. All you regulars, I’m just very grateful for the respect and I hope I returned the same to you. So thank you very much.”

As mentioned, Brady have options. He may choose to pass away at age 45, a mile marker he has routinely suggested would be the end of his playing career. He is said to have a lucrative broadcast deal waiting for him at Fox Sports, so that will likely be his next step if he steps down for good. Either that, or he can continue to play and will be free to sign with any team once he hits free agency. The Buccaneers can’t franchise Brady, so he would really have the freedom to choose his next location if he decides his spot is still up for grabs.

If the latter route turns out to be the one Brady takes, he will have suitors beyond a return to the Bucs (which seems an unlikely outcome). CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones reported that the Las Vegas Raiders will aggressively pursue Brady this offseason as they move on from Derek Carr. Josh McDaniels, Brady’s former offensive coordinator in New England, is currently the head coach in Las Vegas.

So, for the second straight offseason, the NFL world will simply wait and see what the league’s best player will decide.

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