Tom Brady’s 2022 season ended in miserable fashion Monday night with a 31-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Was it the final game of Brady’s storied NFL career? The last of his Tampa Bay Buccaneers tenure? We’ll have to wait for answers to those questions.
The 45-year-old wasn’t ready to make any declarations about his future as he spoke with reporters minutes after the Bucs’ wild-card playoff defeat at Raymond James Stadium.
“I’m going to go home and get a good night’s sleep,” Brady told the assembled media. “Or as good as I can tonight. … This has been a lot of focus on this game, so it’ll just be one day at a time, truly.”
Brady closed out his postgame news conference by thanking Tampa reporters for their coverage. This was the QB’s third season with the Bucs after he spent his first 20 with the New England Patriots.
“I love this organization,” said Brady, who turns 46 in August. “It’s a great place to be. Thank you everybody for welcoming me, and all you regulars. I’m just very grateful for the respect, and I hope I gave the same thing back to you. I appreciate it.”
Bucs head coach Todd Bowles also did not offer any hints on Brady’s next move. Brady is set to become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year opens March 15, and teams like the Las Vegas Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans have been mentioned as potential suitors for the seven-time Super Bowl champion.
The Raiders and Titans are coached by longtime friends of Brady in Josh McDaniels and Mike Vrabel, respectively, and the 49ers are his hometown team.
“Me and him will sit down and have a conversation, and we’ll talk about it at that time,” Bowles told reporters. “There’s not anything publicly that needs to be said at this time.”
During Monday night’s ESPN broadcast, commentators Joe Buck and Troy Aikman both said, based on their pregame conversations with Brady, they believe the QB has not yet decided how he wants to proceed this offseason.
“I legitimately, and maybe he’s acting — I don’t think Tom Brady knows what the next step is in his life, in his career,” Buck said. “… I think he’s going to take time after this season.”
Added Aikman: “In visiting with him, I came away from that feeling like he honestly has no idea right now.”
Brady completed 35 of 66 passes in the season-ending loss, throwing for 351 yards and two touchdowns with a red-zone interception, his first since 2019.