Brady was excellent throughout the 2021 NFL season, his 22nd overall and second with the Buccaneers after two decades with the New England Patriots. But the quarterback has been noncommittal since Tampa Bay’s playoff elimination, leaving both the organization and fans to wonder what’s next.
Well, Bayless might have some intel on which way Brady is leaning.
“I was told (Monday night) that the Buccaneers are now in a position that they will be surprised if he plays for them next year,” Bayless said Tuesday on FS1’s “Undisputed.” “When I heard that, it knocked me on my keister. It shook me and it shocked me because I didn’t see that coming.”
Rumblings about Brady potentially walking away this offseason picked up last week before the Bucs faced the Rams, with Seth Wickersham, Bill Simmons and even former Patriots teammate Rob Ninkovich among those speculating the 44-year-old could walk away.
Brady said in the past he hoped to play until age 45. And clearly, he’s still capable of performing at a high level, evident by his NFL-caliber 2021 campaign. But Brady acknowledged his retirement — whenever it happens — will be a family decision, and it’s possible his wife, Gisele Bündchen, is ready for the seven-time Super Bowl champion to hang up his cleats.
Brady led the Bucs to a title in his first season with the franchise. His departure obviously would be a huge blow to Tampa Bay’s championship odds in 2022, but all good things must come to an end at some point.