Bucs' Tom Brady Says He'll Retire If He's Not a 'Championship-Level Quarterback'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 23, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) before an NFL preseason football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio

There's not exactly much precedent for 44-year-old quarterbacks coming off their seventh career Super Bowl title, but Tom Brady provided something of a timeline to when he may retire.

"I'll know when the time's right," the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller said in Peter King's Football Morning in America column. "If I can't ... if I'm not a championship-level quarterback, then I'm not gonna play. If I'm a liability to the team, I mean, no way. But if I think I can win a championship, then I'll play."

At this point, it's difficult to envision Brady not remaining a championship-level quarterback in the immediate future.

All he did in his first season with Tampa Bay following 20 years with the New England Patriots is lead the Buccaneers to their second Lombardi Trophy while completing 65.7 percent of his passes for 4,633 yards, 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

His seven Super Bowls are more than any single franchise, and he just so happens to have three league MVPs and 14 Pro Bowl selections on his resume to go with the championship rings.

Brady is the greatest quarterback of all-time, and he will be throwing to a litany of weapons once again since the Buccaneers are returning all 22 Super Bowl starters for the 2021 campaign. That means more touchdown passes to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski with a proven defense on the other side.

At some point, No. 12 will eventually hang up the cleats and move into retirement.

But he doesn't have a set date on that for now, and he is in an ideal situation to maximize his talent with one of the teams featured on the shortlist of the realistic Super Bowl contenders in 2021.

Expect a lot more Brady highlights to come even in a league that features the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and others.