No, Tom Brady hasn’t officially announced his retirement, but the most credible reporters covering the NFL maintain the 44-year-old indeed is hanging up his cleats. So, let’s proceed under the assumption that Brady has played his final NFL game.
In their initial report, Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington of ESPN said family and health concerns were the biggest reasons behind Brady’s decision. In a story published Sunday morning, ESPN’s Seth Wickersham corroborated that report, while also adding some additional context.
Check out this excerpt:
But this season, something changed. Brady is a process guy, and as much as he liked his coaches personally, Tampa Bay wasn’t as buttoned-up as Belichick’s Patriots, and that was evident at the end of the Rams game. The Bucs are in transition, having gone all in to win with Brady and now brought back to earth with salary-cap and roster issues. And this year, more than any other, Brady stepped beyond the football field. He started a podcast with his friend, broadcaster Jim Gray, and Larry Fitzgerald. He starred in “Man in the Arena” on ESPN+. He continued pushing TB12 then launched the Brady Brand clothing line.
Of course, Wickersham is referencing Tampa Bay’s divisional-round loss to Los Angeles. In a move that perplexed many, the Bucs at the end of regulation left a safety one-on-one with star receiver Cooper Kupp, who caught a 44-yard pass to set up the game-winning field goal.
The grass might’ve been greener for Brady in 2020, but it apparently was a different story by the end of this season.