Tom Brady Rumors: Bucs Knew QB Retiring Was 'A Strong Possibility for About 2 Months'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 30, 2022

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) attempts a pass during a NFL divisional playoff football game between the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, January 23, 2022 in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Menendez)
AP Photo/Alex Menendez

If Tom Brady does officially retire this offseason, it won't be a complete surprise for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler explained the decision from the Buccaneers' perspective on Sunday's SportsCenter:

"After asking around yesterday and this morning, the sense I get is that the Bucs knew this was at least a strong possibility for about two months because early in the year Tom Brady was speaking publicly about how he wanted to play multiple years and keep this thing rolling. And then sort of behind the scenes there was a little bit of a shift in tone. As one source told me, he talked an awful lot about his family. As he should, he's got a beautiful family. And it's not that he didn't do that before, but it became clear that he was looking at the bigger picture more, wanting to spend time with his kids. And so it now looks like he'll have an opportunity to do so. And the Bucs coaches going through these interview processes, Todd Bowles and Byron Leftwich both coordinators have been up for head coaching jobs, they were doing those discussions knowing that change is possibly or likely coming in Tampa. So this is something that the organization is trying to grapple with right now and make changes for 2022."

ESPN's Jeff Darlington and Adam Schefter reported Saturday that Brady plans to retire after 22 seasons in the NFL. 

Brady's agent, Don Yee, later released a statement saying the decision is not finalized. The quarterback has also not informed Bucs general manager Jason Licht of his decision, per Michael Silver of Bally Sports.

Though the 44-year-old hasn't publicly stated his next move, he did recently discuss the role of his family in his decision.

"It pains her to see me get hit out there," he said of his wife, Gisele Bundchen, on his Let's Go! podcast (h/t Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times). "And she deserves what she needs from me as a husband and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad."

He added the final call might not be his alone.

"It's not always what I want. It's what we want as a family," Brady said.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports also reported last week that "there is a sense among some guys in the locker room that this is it."

The Buccaneers saw their season come to an end Sunday with a 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, ruining a chance to win back-to-back Super Bowls. 

With Brady seemingly already having one foot out the door, it makes his pending retirement an expected result.