A few weeks after Tom Brady announced he was stepping away from the NFL, Josh McDaniels made it clear he wasn’t sure the legendary quarterback was really done playing.
The new head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders was onto something.
Brady was retired for a mere 40 days when he revealed he’s returning a 23rd season. Despite speculation Brady would come back for a new team — like the San Francisco 49ers or maybe even McDaniels’ Raiders — the seven-time Super Bowl champion will run it back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2022.
McDaniels wasn’t surprised Brady ultimately decided to keep playing. The line of thinking for the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator was simple: Brady still has what it takes to play at an elite level.
“Whatever he chooses to do, he deserves the opportunity to choose what he wants to do and how he wants to do it,” McDaniels told reporters Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting, per Pro Football Talk. “I just think I see a guy that’s playing at an extremely high level. Super competitive. And at this age, nobody’s really done this before. So to see him playing at that level and walk away, I think all of us would’ve been a little sad on opening day had that been the case.
“But knowing him like I do, how competitive he is, if he can still do it at a high level, if he can still compete to win championships, it doesn’t shock me that he came back.”
Oddsmakers certainly like Brady and company’s chances of contending for a Lombardi Trophy in the upcoming season. The Bucs currently have the second shortest odds (+750) at DraftKings Sportsbook to win Super Bowl LVII.