Rapoport: Tom Brady 'Probably' Will Sign 1-Year Contract If He Keeps Playing in NFL

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured 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

Tom Brady sounded like a person unsure about his football future after Monday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

That said, he's not going to lack interested teams if he decides to play another season, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

"I know there's gonna be interest elsewhere. The Raiders we've talked about. I think that's real. The Titans would be interesting. The Jets would be interesting. It's probably only going to be for one year," Rapoport said Tuesday on the Pat McAfee Show.

Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow

"I know there's gonna be interest from teams and it's probably gonna be a one year deal if Tom Brady wants to keep playing"<a href="https://twitter.com/RapSheet?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RapSheet</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PMSLive?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PMSLive</a> <a href="https://t.co/eRXSWIowk0">pic.twitter.com/eRXSWIowk0</a>

Brady will be an unrestricted free agent in March. If he retires or does not re-sign with the Bucs by March 15, the team will incur a $35.1 million dead cap hit as a result of his contract voiding, per Spotrac. Tampa re-signing Brady before March 15 would be the likeliest outcome if he wants to remain with the Bucs.

The 45-year-old said he plans to take his future "one day at a time" after Monday's 31-14 loss to the Cowboys. He then went on to issue an elongated thank you to the media, which came across far more as a goodbye than a hint he plans to be in Tampa next season.

He told reporters:

"I just want to say thank you guys for everything this year. I really appreciate all your effort. And I know it's hard for you guys, too. It's hard for us players to make it through, and you guys got a tough job. And I appreciate all that you guys do to cover us and everyone who watches and [is] a big fan of the sport. We're very grateful for everyone's support. And, you know, hopefully, you know, I love this organization. It's a great place to be. I love everyone for welcoming me, all you regulars. And just very grateful for the respect, and I hope I gave the same thing back to you guys. So thank you very much."

Brady retired last February before quickly unretiring just over a month later. The 2022 season was frustrating for the future Hall of Famer, as he dealt with injuries across the Bucs offensive line and an ineffective running game.

He finished with 4,694 yards and 25 touchdowns against nine interceptions during the regular season, fine numbers that paled in comparison to his first two years with the franchise.

If Brady suits up for a 24th NFL season, the smart money appears on him playing elsewhere. The Raiders stand out as an obvious fit, Las Vegas head coach Josh McDaniels was Brady's offensive coordinator for 11 years in New England.

The presence of a top-flight wideout in Davante Adams, an elite tight end in Darren Waller and NFL leading rusher Josh Jacobs could give Brady an elite supporting cast. (Jacobs will be a free agent in March but seems like a strong bet for the franchise tag.)