Retired (for the second time) quarterback Tom Brady hasn’t entirely and unequivocally slammed the door on playing again. On the latest episode of his Let’s Go! podcast, Brady made it clear that he believes he can still play.
“There’s always gonna be a part [of me] that wants to play and a part of me that, you know, feels like I can play,” Brady said. “I think there’s just a decision to know that it’s the right time. So I think for me it’s more of just, it’s gonna end at some point, and I think now’s the time. And it’s not that I can’t do it. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to do it. It’s not that I wouldn’t be excited to play. I love playing football. I’ve loved playing football since I was a kid on the street on Portola Drive. So I think it’s just a decision that it’s time to do other things.”
Jim Gray then reminded Brady that he once said he’ll retire when he sucks, and that he doesn’t suck.
“That’s true,” Brady said. “I did say that. And I meant it at the time. That was so long ago. I missed a few things in the meantime and certainly just have loved every experience that I’ve had doing it and doesn’t always go right, and I always tell this to my kids a lot, you know, it’s not about whether you win or lose, it’s about the process of trying to get the most out of yourself. And if you feel like you’ve done it then there’s a lot to be gained from it. And if you feel like you cheated that, then you feel like you’ve cheated yourself. And I think I’ve always wanted to maximize my ability as a player and now I get to maximize my ability in life as a person and as a human and as a man and as a father and as a son and as a brother and as a friend and as a teammate to different things going forward. So there’s a lot of things to be excited about.”
That’s fine, and it makes sense. And he may mean it, the same way he meant, “I’ll retire when I suck.”
No one knows how he’ll feel as the season approaches. No one, including Tom Brady himself. That’s why it’s impossible to rule out anything.
Yes, he said in December that, the next time he retires, it will be for good. And, again, he may have meant it when he said it. We’ll see whether it sticks.