Report: 'Completely Ridiculous' to Say Tom Brady Played Role in Arians' Retirement

Erin WalshApril 17, 2022

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 16: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers talks with head coach Bruce Arians prior to the NFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After Tom Brady unretired to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for another season, Bruce Arians announced his retirement from coaching, which sparked speculation about whether the veteran quarterback forced the longtime head coach to call it quits. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the notion that Brady wanted Arians to retire is absurd. 

"I've talked to six or seven Bucs sources and people close to Brady who all say that's completely ridiculous," Rapoport said during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show

Before Brady unretired in March, former NFL offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger, who played with Brady for three seasons in New England, reported that the quarterback's relationship with Arians was "souring."

Rich Ohrnberger @ohrnberger

Apparently, while Arians was rehabbing the achilles in the early mornings, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Brady would work on the week's game plan. Arians would later come in and take the red pen to work they'd done. The QB and OC felt undermined, there was tension.

When Brady returned and Arians retired, the report added more fuel to the fire that their relationship had deteriorated. However, Arians dismissed the report while speaking at his farewell press conference late last month. 

"We have a great relationship," Arians told reporters. "All the players, every one of them has gotten cussed out, including him. That's just part of me. … People gotta write s--t. It couldn't be further from the truth."

Brady also took to Instagram to thank Arians shortly after the head coach retired, writing, "You are an incredible man and coach, and it was a privilege to play for you. You are a true NFL legend and pioneer for all the work you have done to make the league more diverse and inclusive."

He added: "We all benefited from your leadership and guidance and I’m so proud of everything we accomplished. You were a huge part of the decision to join the Bucs and I’m forever grateful."

Arians and Brady led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title during the 2020 season, and it's hard to imagine their relationship deteriorated after going 13-4 and reaching the divisional round during the 2021 campaign. 

After he retired, Arians said he wanted to ensure new head coach Todd Bowles would be set up for success after he struggled as head coach of the New York Jets because the team lacked ample talent.