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Tom Brady Favored to Return to Buccaneers Ahead of Raiders, 49ers in Latest Odds

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 17, 2023

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 16: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on after a fumble against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 16, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The future of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady became the immediate storyline following Monday night's 31-14 blowout loss against the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium.

And for now, the Bucs remain the favorite to retain his services should he hold off retirement for another year, with the Las Vegas Raiders and San Francisco 49ers nipping on their heels:

br_betting @br_betting

Tom Brady's Next Team Odds <a href="https://twitter.com/DKSportsbook?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DKSportsbook</a> 🔮<br><br>Bucs +200<br>Raiders +250<br>49ers +350<br>Patriots +750<br>Dolphins +750<br>Giants +900<br>Jets +900<br><br>Where do you think the 🐐 plays next season? <a href="https://t.co/Rne5jRlpBW">pic.twitter.com/Rne5jRlpBW</a>

Obviously, retirement is still an option for Brady, who did so briefly last offseason before reversing course. That 180-degree turn didn't come as a huge shocker. Brady had thrown for 5,316 yards, 43 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, completing 67.5 percent of his passes and leading Tampa to a 13-4 record in 2021.

The Bucs were still perceived as a Super Bowl contender entering the 2022 campaign, and Brady was still at the top of his game. Giving it another shot made sense.

There are bigger question marks after the 2022 season, however. The 45-year-old Brady had his struggles, throwing for 4,694 yards, 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 66.8 percent of his throws. The Bucs went just 8-9, though still sneaked into the playoffs given the ineptitude of the NFC South.

Now, the question is whether Brady has finally started to seriously decline after years of seemingly delaying the inevitable. And whether he wants to return to a Bucs team that immensely struggled for much of this season and may be out of its championship window.

With the Raiders set to cut ties with quarterback Derek Carr, bringing in Brady would make sense. Las Vegas has its own holes to fill, but there is undoubtedly talent on the roster. And Brady has plenty of familiarity with head coach Josh McDaniels from their time together in New England.

He's also from the Bay Area, though the San Francisco 49ers have two intriguing young quarterbacks in the injured Trey Lance and the revelatory Brock Purdy. It's harder to imagine the Niners, already one of the best teams in the NFL with Purdy under center, making a huge push to land Brady.

As for the other teams on the list, a New England Patriots reunion would be fascinating—imagine the stories around a Brady and Bill Belichick reunion—though it would also all but mark the end of the Mac Jones era.

Neither the Miami Dolphins (Tua Tagovailoa) or New York Giants (Daniel Jones) seem likely to make quarterback changes anytime soon. The New York Jets likely are going to make a change at the position, but would Brady want to join such a young team?

There's plenty to be decided this offseason for the future Hall of Famer. If he does decide to play in 2023, he'll have his options.