Tom Brady is taking his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seriously.
Maybe too seriously?
The quarterback recently has been working out with several of his new teammates despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Not only that, but Brady hasn’t been shy about publicizing the workouts on social media.
This all flies in the face of the NFL Players Association’s recommendation that players refrain from practicing together as COVID-19 cases begin to spike in several states, including Florida, and ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio has a problem with how Brady is handling the situation.
“If you’re not gonna follow (the NFLPA’s recommendation), I think that you are basically giving your union the middle finger,” Florio said Wednesday on NBC Sports. “You are undermining your union. You are working against the group that is in place to advance your interests. You are hurting their credibility by flaunting it. That’s what bothers me the most about it.
“If the union hadn’t said anything, then we could say, ‘Well, you know, Tom Brady’s doing Tom Brady things, and he’s working hard and he’s getting his guys ready, he’s not violating any ordinances in Florida right now… ‘ But once the union says ‘don’t do it’ and once Brady decides to turn it into a social media catalogue of photos, it’s just one middle finger after another at the NFL Players Association.”
Brady signed with the Buccaneers in free agency this offseason after spending his first 20 seasons with the New England Patriots. It’s understandable he has a chip on his shoulder after a 2019 campaign in which he underperformed relative to his usual elite standards, but the workouts he’s hosting come with inherent risks, especially in wake of at least two Bucs players testing positive for the coronavirus.
As Florio mentioned, it’s also somewhat surprising to see the six-time Super Bowl champion so boldly ignore the NFLPA’s requests. Brady even posted an Instagram on Thursday that turned more than a few heads.
“He’s 42 years old. He’s been around the NFL for 20 years. You’d think he would understand,” Florio said Wednesday. “You’d think the ego and the vanity that prompts you to post this stuff on social media would take a back seat to recognizing, ‘I’m really not helping my union here by doing this stuff.’ ”