The Buccaneers sit six days away from their first game of the 2022 regular season. With the fumes of quarterback Tom Brady‘s 11-day training-camp hiatus still lingering, it’s inevitable that questions about Brady’s status will emerge, from time to time.
On Monday, coach Todd Bowles was asked whether Brady continues to be “all-in” for the season.
“He’s been all-in since we got him,” Bowles said, ignoring the nearly two weeks when Brady was literally all-out.
“He’s all-in now,” Bowles immediately added, perhaps remembering the still-unexplained (other than to say “I’ve got a lot of shit going on”) absence. “I don’t follow the off-the-field stuff. I listen to XM The Groove and Soul Town. My off-the-field activities are honestly not even football-related.”
By mentioning that he doesn’t follow “the off-the-field stuff,” Bowles acknowledged the existence of it, whatever it may be. The New York Post, owned by the same family that owns Brady’s eventual broadcasting employer, has been pushing the link between his absence and marital discord. That’s the only real “off-the-field stuff” that has secured any type of actual traction, as it relates to potential explanations for Brady’s unprecedented departure from camp.
(Then there’ the “off-the-field stuff” about him wanting to be on-the-field with the Dolphins. If we believe the NFL’s findings regarding persistent tampering by Miami, it’s hard to conclude that Brady has constantly been “all-in since we got him.” And he retired for 40 days, too. So, not “all-in.”)
Regardless, it would be far more difficult for Brady to up and leave during the season, which seems to be what the question was getting at. The fact that he was gone for 11 days in camp makes it something other than completely impossible.
The Bucs have a Week 11 bye. That’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving. It’s hard not to look at the schedule and wonder whether Brady will exit from the end of the Seahawks game in Germany on November 13 and return as late as possible while still being ready to go for a trip to face a Browns team that could be limping into its last contest without Deshaun Watson.