NFL Rumors: Buccaneers' Tom Brady Expected to Retire After Season by Most Insiders

Adam WellsDecember 16, 2022

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 11: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Despite speculation that Tom Brady could return for a 24th year in 2023, there's a growing belief from NFL insiders he will walk away at the end of this season.

Per The Athletic's Mike Jones, a majority of insiders "believe" Brady will likely retire when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' season wraps up.

Prior to the Bucs' game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Brady "feels good enough to keep playing" and is keeping all of his options on the table.

Brady flirted with retirement at the end of last season. The seven-time Super Bowl champion announced on Feb. 1 he was walking away from the sport, but he changed his mind on March 13.

This season has been a challenge for Brady and the Bucs. The 15-time Pro Bowler is still playing well with 3,585 passing yards and 17 touchdowns. He leads the league in completions (381) and attempts (579).

Injuries and poor performances at other positions have caused all sorts of problems for the offense. They have the fifth-worst scoring offense in the NFL with 17.2 points per game entering Week 15.

Tampa Bay has scored fewer than 20 points in each of its last three games. It only did that five times in the previous two seasons combined.

Given the state of the Buccaneers' roster and already being $40 million over the 2023 salary cap, it would seem unlikely that Brady returns to the team next season if he does continue playing.

There are several teams that could potentially be looking for a new quarterback during the offseason. Jones listed the 49ers, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans as potential landing spots for Brady.

While there will be a lot of focus on what Brady does after the season, the Bucs are still in the running for a playoff spot. They lead the NFC South by one game, despite having a 6-7 record.