Did Tom Brady Give Bucs ‘Simple’ Ultimatum? Shannon Sharpe Explains

Sharpe believes Brady played a huge role in Bruce Arians stepping down


March 31

Shannon Sharpe has very little doubt that Tom Brady played an instrumental role in Bruce Arians stepping down Wednesday as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“99.9%. I hate saying 100%, but 99.9%,” Sharpe said Thursday on FS1’s “Undisputed” of how much Brady factored into the move. “Because Tom Brady told BA: ‘You’re stepping down today, and we’re going to have a press conference tomorrow, on Thursday, at 1 p.m., and you’re going to say all the right things. I believe Tom Brady told the (Bucs) management: ‘It’s BA or me.’ It’s as simple as that.”

Why is Sharpe so confident?

Well, there were rumors of friction between Brady and Arians before the quarterback retired (and then unretired) earlier this offseason. And there was virtually zero indication that Arians, who’s now shifting into a front office role with the Bucs, was considering retiring from coaching. Something seems fishy.

“We got no indication (from Arians),” Sharpe said. “We heard him talk at the (NFL Scouting) Combine. We heard him talk afterwards, how excited he was that, ‘We got Tom back and we’ve got a chance to compete for a title.’ And all of a sudden, out of the blue, he steps down. And steps down to do a senior consultant? Kind of like Brad Stevens stepped down (with the Boston Celtics). … He got demoted-promoted.”

Arians told reporters that rumblings of a rift between him and Brady “couldn’t be further from the truth.” He maintains the two have a “great relationship” as he transitions into his new role.

Arians also explained that Brady’s decision to return for the 2022 season made his own decision easier, as he knew Todd Bowles — promoted to head coach from defensive coordinator — would inherit a team that’s in good shape.

Sharpe isn’t buying it.

“This notion that out of the blue that BA is going to all of a sudden say, ‘You know what? Give me that consulting role.’ — that’s not happening,” Sharpe said ” … If anybody thinks that this was out of the kindness of (Arians’) heart, and Tom Brady played no role in this, they’re absolutely mistaken.

“I believe Tom Brady’s thumbprint, handprint, palmprint, eye scan like you do at the airport — I believe all of Tom Brady is on this move. And no one can convince me otherwise.”

Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images
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