Some of quarterback Tom Brady's teammates with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly believe the future Hall of Famer could retire at the conclusion of the team's 2021 NFL playoff run.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, a source close to Brady said: "He hasn't signaled one way or the other what he's going to do, and maybe he doesn't know himself. But it wouldn't be surprising if this was the end."
La Canfora also spoke with a Bucs source who said: "Nothing's been said, but there is a sense among some guys in the locker room that this is it, one way or the other. It's just little things here or there they are picking up on. Maybe it turns out to be nothing."
The 44-year-old Brady is in the midst of his 22nd NFL season, and he is looking to lead the Buccaneers to a second consecutive Super Bowl title.
No quarterback in history has ever played to the level Brady has at such an advanced age, but the seven-time Super Bowl champion continues to defy logic with each passing year.
The 2021 season was one of the best statistical campaigns of Brady's legendary career, as he led the NFL with 5,316 passing yards and 43 passing touchdowns, while completing 67.5 percent of his passing attempts and throwing 12 interceptions.
He was somehow even better than he was in his first season in Tampa in 2020 when he threw for 4,633 yards, 40 touchdowns and 12 picks.
Considering Brady is still playing MVP-caliber football, it is somewhat difficult to envision him stepping away now.
He has often spoken over the years about his desire to play until he is 45, and he won't be 45 until the weeks leading up to the 2022 regular season.
Also, Brady suggested in September that he thought he could play until age 50.
He has given no indication that he is coming anywhere close to slowing down, especially on a Bucs team that has provided him with the type of top-level weapons that he needs to thrive.
Perhaps the one thing that could compel him to walk away is the fact that he has nothing left to prove.
He is already the winningest quarterback in NFL history in terms of Super Bowls, he holds the NFL record for career passing yardage and passing touchdowns, and he has led two different franchises to Super Bowl wins.
Regardless of how this season ends, Brady will still be viewed as the gold standard among quarterbacks.
While his future may be in the back of his mind, Brady's immediate focus is on the postseason, as he will lead the Bucs against the Los Angeles Rams in an NFC Divisional Round in Tampa on Sunday.