Report: Tom Brady “remains noncommittal” to playing in 2022

NFL: JAN 16 NFC Wild Card - Eagles at Buccaneers
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Consider Bruce Arians potentially shocked.

The smoke regarding a potential Tom Brady retirement after the 2021 season is building, even though he previously had said — on multiple occasions — that he’ll play through 2022, the year in which he turns 45, and then decide what to do after that.

Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington of ESPN report that sources with the Buccaneers and sources close to Brady “all recognize” that Brady “remains noncommittal” to playing beyond this season. Schefter and Darlington call Brady playing in 2022 “currently far from a given.”

The possibility of Brady leaving, per the report, has “quietly come up” within the Buccaneers’ organization “for weeks now,”with “internal uncertainty” about what the future holds.

The outcome to the current playoff run will be a factor, per the report. If the Bucs win another Super Bowl, Brady becomes more likely to call it quits.

The team’s head coach said Friday that he’d be “shocked” if Brady retires. That could be wishful thinking, if the reporting about the feelings within the team is accurate.

It’s shocking that it’s gotten to this point. The phrase “remains noncommittal” implies that he became noncommittal at some point. When did that happen?

In late September, Brady said he’s definitely playing through 2022, with questions about his future arising in 2023. “Maybe it’s another year after [2022]; maybe it’s two,” Brady said. “I’ll have to see where I’m at with my family. That’s probably the overriding factor — what I’m missing out on.”

Earlier that month, Brady said he wanted to play for the Buccaneers for a long time. “Hopefully, I’ll be here a long time,” Brady said at the time. “For many years.”

Before the season, Brady made it crystal clear that he’ll play through 2022.

“I felt for a long time I could play until I was 45 years old,” Brady said during a SiriusXM town hall. “This year, I’ll be 44. Which naturally takes me to next year, and I’ve got a two-year contract. We’ll see what happens beyond that.”

So how does Brady go from being so certain about playing through 2022 as recently as late September to thinking seriously about retiring? Maybe it’s a family issue; as recently mentioned, no NFL player has missed so much of his family’s life cycle, because no one has been all-in for football so deep into his life. It could be physical. Even though he doesn’t look 44, he quite possibly feels every bit of it — especially after a 17-game regular season (which he opposed) and a playoff game.

He may have been lying to the media about playing through 2022 (he said in June that 90 percent of the things he says publicly aren’t true), in order to avoid a full season of “will he or won’t he?” chatter, along with what could have become a potential farewell tour. Finally, it could be some sort of motivational tactic, aimed at getting everyone in the organization fully focused on capping what could be Tom Brady’s last ride with a Super Bowl win.

Surely, he wants to leave on top if he can. It would be the perfect ending to a perfect career. Actually, it could be the only ending that allows his career to be regarded as truly “perfect.”

However it plays out, something that wasn’t even on the radar screen a week ago is now smack dab in the middle of it, beeping loudly.

40 responses to “Report: Tom Brady “remains noncommittal” to playing in 2022

  1. Sounds like he is shopping for another loaded team. Indy, Tennessee, Denver, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, are good options.

  2. The only way I see him quiting is if he knows his body can no longer do it, or he can’t get a spot in a top team capable of winning a superbowl.
    obviously the second one isn’t a problem, and only he knows the answer to the first one, but from the outside he looks fine.
    my money would be on him continuing

  3. If him winning another one is the deciding factor in him going away, I’m all for it.

  4. I think he plays next season. He’s said MULTIPLE times he wants to play until he’s 45. He’s playing at a high level on a stacked team, plays in an easy to win division and barely ever plays in cold weather.

  5. Sounds like he is shopping for another loaded team. Indy, Tennessee, Denver, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, are good options.

    So loaded the Bucs did not make the playoffs since 2007.

  6. At 44 he led the NFL in TD passes and passing yards. He always said he wanted to play until at least 45 and I can’t imagine him not doing that unless he feels his body can’t take it anymore.

  7. Nothing has changed since yesterday. No one knows. And he doesn’t have to retire with another SB under his belt.

    Should this be it for Tom, all this retirement talk is the insiders’ way of saying – see I told you retirement was on the table.

    Of course it’s on the table – he will be 45 years old next summer.

  8. As a Hawks’ fan I don’t like Niners or Rams.


    I’d love to see an all NFC West NFC Championship as it would mean both Erin and Tammy would be out.

  9. If the Bucs win another Super Bowl it would not surprise me to see Tom and Arians both retire. There is nothing else to prove. There is no way to top it. Going out after winning back-to-back Super Bowls would put the cherry on the top of both their incredible careers.

    And I think the Bucs win the Super Bowl again if they get by the Rams today. The Rams are the only team left in the playoffs that can beat them.

  10. KC and the Tampa Red Tide should take note – homefield advantage no longer exists in the NFL. The latest round has showed you are nothing now. I hope Tomasina Brady is pounded so hard in this game that he retires and takes his GOAT and disappears. We all know he cheated in many of his wins. That point is established and will forever taint him.

  11. Here’s another reason he won’t retire. When he signed his extension last year with TB he got a $20 million signing bonus but $15 million won’t be paid until 2022.

  12. At this point, he’s probably bored. When you make it to the super bowl in over half your time in a league, where’s the challenge.

  13. As a longtime Brady fan I hope he plays another 20 years. He’s brought so much enjoyment already but I don’t want to end.

  14. As much as I’d like to see Tom Brady trying to catch snaps from behind a walker, he should really retire before he has the chance to win six or seven more Super Bowls.

  15. zonedout100 says:

    January 23, 2022 at 10:40 am

    Here’s another reason he won’t retire. When he signed his extension last year with TB he got a $20 million signing bonus but $15 million won’t be paid until 2022
    I dont think that’s a reason he won’t retire, just a nice benefit if he doesnt. Brady at this point isnt looking and saying I need that 15 million and its gonna determine whether he plays, it likely has no bearing on his decision. Not to mention considering the Bucs have been known to adjust contracts for players to reach their goals I doubt if Brady really wanted the money and wanted to retire that they wouldnt work out a personal services contract that would pay him the same next year for a few appearances.

  16. Cap hell.

    Once Brown went crazy again and Brady realized how many guys are gone (long list) due to age and cap hell, he now sees a rebuild.

    He luckily got what he wanted with an injured Brees and chokejob Rodgers handing him and the Bucs a title last year, but it’s all over.

  17. dwqb11 says:
    January 23, 2022 at 9:22 am
    Sounds like he is shopping for another loaded team. Indy, Tennessee, Denver, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, are good options.

    So loaded the Bucs did not make the playoffs since 2007.

    43 14 Rate This


    They had no coach, GM or QB but had been picking top 10 for years like Seattle did prior to 2012. Do you watch the NFL or pay attention at all?

    Winston threw for 5000 yards for example. He just threw a lot of ints losing games.

    Try to keep up.

    Some us actually know the sport.

  18. This season nearly every member of last season’s Super Bowl winning team returned. I think Brady waits until he knows how many of his favorite weapons and O-Line players are sticking around before making a final decision.

  19. He’s earned the right to do whatever he wants. Love him or hate him it’s been a joy watching his excellence over more than two decades.

  20. We’ve all been so lucky to have lived in the Tom Brady era. To be able to follow and root for the best football player of all time has been a pure joy. I will miss him if/when he finally decides to hang it up. GOAT!!! And Go BUCS today! Not going to be easy against another great QB and those QB sackers, but I never give up on Tom Brady. We’ll see. Hope the Bucs can pull out a win today….

  21. There’s literally nothing shocking about this at all. Brady has been year to year now for a couple years. He turns 45 in August (yes us Pats fans know his birthday). So, if he plays through this year he’ll have made it to 45, kind of. He’s not going to make a big deal of it when he’s done, he’s just gonna be done after some season, this or next.

  22. We didn’t want to believe he was leaving the Pats, either, but ALL the signs were there, like the house going up for sale, etc.

    With Rodgers and the Pack going out last night, the path to the SB may yet go through TB, so everyone should follow Brady… focus on that, and the Rams, not on what Brady may or may not do.

  23. dwqb11 says:
    January 23, 2022 at 11:47 am
    You know the sport so well you anointed Stidham the Pats QB of the future.

    26 4 Rate This


    He wasn’t allowed to play. We have no idea what he would have or wouldn’t have done as a prospect, but I like results when BB works with qbs daily. End of discussion.

    I like Stidham’s upside. Nothing has changed. I also like Mac Jones’s upside. I also predicted Rodgers being great after 1 preseason game in Dallas in 2005. The eye test. You and others need the media to tell you. I don’t.

    Brady, JimmyG and now Mac Jones. I like it all as a Pats fan. BB develops good or great QBs when working everyday with the prospect.

  24. I’d think he’d want to announce at the START of the final season,”this will be my last”. That way there are a ton of money-making events everywhere he goes to celebrate the final game of the GOAT. Probably motivate his team a bit more as well, because unless they sign Aaron Rodgers, they sure aren’t going to the Super Bowl the NEXT season

  25. Let’s see a 44 year old quarterback wants to consider his options after the season is over —- breaking news!

  26. If they lose today he’ll probably step away. He doesn’t like to get hit anymore and the refs aren’t calling penalties on every bad play of his like they used to. They are also not throwing flags for breathing on him anymore. He’s not so good without the officials on his side.

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