From Buccaneers To 49ers: How Tom Brady Retirement Impacts NFL Offseason

Teams with quarterback uncertainty must not have been thrilled Wednesday


February 1

The retirement of Tom Brady on Wednesday was the talk of the National Football League, to no surprise. Franchises like the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers released tributes to Brady, players like Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and others shared their congratulatory remarks, and football fans everywhere reflected on the career of the greatest quarterback of all time.

And while the big picture surrounding Brady’s career was the first to come to mind, there’s no doubt NFL teams quickly transitioned to what his retirement means for them. While the retirement of the 45-year-old quarterback probably should not have sent shockwaves through the league, especially considering he made the decision one year ago, it certainly will have a trickle-down effect on the NFL offseason.

The Buccaneers likely will be impacted by the decision more than anyone else. Brady, after all, played his last three seasons in Tampa Bay and the organization went all-out to better its roster and win. With that, not only do the Buccaneers now have a void at signal-caller, but there’s a very real chance they might have to go forward with a rebuild given their financial restrictions after continuously pushing money into the future. At some point the buck had to stop, and Brady’s retirement might cause it to do so.

But Tampa Bay is not alone.

After all, Brady was set to hit the open market in March. And while ESPN’s Jeff Darlington stressed Wednesday that Brady was either retiring of returning to the Buccaneers this offseason, that wasn’t the mindset of everyone. Brady was listed in ESPN’s top 10 free agents as recently as Tuesday and was linked to just about every team with quarterback uncertainty. And former Brady teammates like Julian Edelman and Devin McCourty both previously expressed how they thought Brady would play for another team in 2023.

A decision to join the 49ers seemed to make tons of sense given the talent on San Francisco’s roster, the fact it was his childhood team and questions surrounding the injuries of quarterbacks Brock Purdy, Trey Lance and impending free agent Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco still has options, of course, but it’ll now need to move forward knowing the best of the bunch no longer is in play.

Josh McDaniels and the Las Vegas Raiders will have to move forward without Brady, too. The Raiders were another team that was viewed as a favorite given the fact Las Vegas is clearly done with veteran Derek Carr and the relationship between Brady and McDaniels. Brady, however, clearly didn’t want to play for a third franchise after representing both the Patriots and Buccaneers.

There were plenty of others that were thought to try and entice Brady, too. Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans made some sense given Brady’s relationship with Vrabel; the Miami Dolphins clearly had been infatuated with Brady and reports of him joining the ownership group made Miami a speculated suitor; even the New York Jets were rumored given their a win-now roster and willingness to spend on a veteran quarterback.

Those teams and likely many others now will have to figure out how to address their respective quarterback situations. And it makes too much sense, right? Because even on his final day, Brady still had the rest of the NFL concocting plans on how to stop him — in this case from retirement.

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Former NFL quarterback Tom Brady
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