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Bucs' Tom Brady on Future, Possible Retirement: 'There's a Lot That's Inconclusive'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 23, 2022

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
AP Photo/Jason Behnken

Tom Brady, in theory, will eventually retire, and he discussed what he sees as the "perfect ending" with the NBC Sports crew ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' divisional-round game against the Los Angeles Rams.

"Winning the Super Bowl, but I don't know that's this year," he said. "I'd love to end on a Super Bowl. … But I think I'll know when I know. … But there's a lot that's inconclusive."

John Clark @JClarkNBCS

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The idea of Brady retiring took on more urgency when NBC Sports showed that graphic, considering it happened in the third quarter right before the Rams scored a touchdown to extend their advantage to 27-3.

It appeared as if Tampa Bay's season was coming to an end, and the next question will naturally ask when the 44-year-old will eventually hang up the cleats.

That question was a subject of discussion even before the game when ESPN's Jeff Darlington and Adam Schefter reported the all-time great is "noncommittal to playing beyond this season" and will take time this offseason to make a decision depending on how he and his family feel.

"Some sources believe that if the Buccaneers repeat as Super Bowl champions, it would increase the likelihood that Brady could walk away from the game," Darlington and Schefter wrote.

That echoed Brady's sentiment while speaking to the NBC Sports crew, which means a loss to the Rams could serve as motivation to return for at least one more season. He also has one year left on his contract and could finish it out before retiring after the 2022 campaign and one more Super Bowl pursuit.

Whether he retires or comes back, there is little doubting his status as the best quarterback in NFL history at this point.

He has seven Super Bowl titles, three league MVPs and 15 Pro Bowl nods on his resume and is once again an MVP candidate this season after completing 67.5 percent of his passes for 5,316 yards, 43 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He paced the NFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns while leading the Buccaneers to an NFC South crown.

Brady is still playing at an incredible level, but his future may be somewhat uncertain whenever the Bucs' postseason run is over.