Maybe Tom Brady is just running out of things to do on the football field.
How else can one explain the retirement rumors surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback?
Brady still is performing at an elite level in his age-44 season, his second campaign with the Bucs after two decades with the New England Patriots. There’s really no reason to believe Tampa Bay’s current playoff run will leave the seven-time Super Bowl champion with an empty tank.
Yet, there’s been growing speculation in recent days that Brady could retire this offseason. And Nick Wright explained Wednesday on FS1’s “First Things First” that the rumblings might simply stem from not having anything left to accomplish between the lines.
“Here’s my theory on this: Because he had set an actual benchmark — ‘I want to play until I’m 45’ — and his play has not tailed off at all, and he’s months away from being 45, so why would these rumblings ever be out there?,” Wright said. “And here’s what I came up with: Even after winning the six Super Bowls, he had boxes to check. I do wonder if he’s now checked them all.”
Brady could have rode off into the sunset after his final season with the Patriots in 2019, and few would have questioned his status as the greatest quarterback in NFL history. All he’s done since then is win another title with the Buccaneers while answering several questions along the way.
The Brady vs. Bill Belichick debate? Yeah, that pendulum definitely swung in the QB’s favor.
Pass the GOAT torch to Patrick Mahomes? Not yet — and maybe not ever.
Doubts about the TB12 method? Silenced. The man looks amazing, all while his contemporaries have hung up their cleats.
“If he were to leave this year, there’s no memory of him ever being bad,” Wright said. “In fact, it’s that he left a lot of meat on the bone.”
There’s been plenty of opportunities for Brady to go out on top. His passion for football always has sucked him back in. Why would this time be any different?
Well, he can’t play forever. And he can only run up the score on other QBs for so long, right?
“There is an element of the billionaire who at 70 is still working, and then the people around him say, ‘Buddy, for what?’ Sometimes, those guys work until they die. Sometimes, they’re like, ‘You know what? You’re right. I can’t take it with me,’ ” Wright said. “And the gap between him and everyone else in Super Bowls is so massive now that you have to do (Joe) Montana plus (Troy) Aikman’s Super Bowls to tie Tom. There is an element of, ‘What am I doing this for?’ ”
They say Father Time is undefeated. But that was before Tom Brady came along.