Tom Brady and the Buccaneers’ epic loss to the Dallas Cowboys during Monday Night’s NFL Wild Card game has everyone questioning whether he will return to the team. He looked like a 45-year-old quarterback His post-game comments during the press conference, although veiled, confirmed his decision for many.
“I love this organization,” said Brady. “It’s a great place to be. Thank you everybody for welcoming me. Just very grateful for the respect, and I hope I gave it back to you guys.”
“I’m gonna go home and get a good night’s sleep. … One day at a time.”
Tom Brady on what’s next
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 17, 2023
Tamp Bay Swan Song
With many speculating that he will exit Florida for the more familiar Western landscape that houses the Las Vegas Raiders, the press conference comments felt like a goodbye for many. As Brady left the field after the 31-14 home loss, he tipped his hat to the crowd, which for many also felt like a final salvo salute to the city of Tampa.
Tom Brady tips his cap to Bucs fans as he jogs off the field 👋 pic.twitter.com/pSqCW5xzUD
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 17, 2023
Then after the game, announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman appeared on “SportsCenter” and divulged to host Scott Van Pelt what Brady told them about his plans for 2023.
“When I talk to people about it, people inside the game believe he’s coming back for another year,” said Buck. “Whether that’s here in Tampa Bay or that’s with some other organization, nobody knows. But I will go back to what we said in the game. Unless he’s a great actor, he had a real heart-to-heart conversation with us about this. I think he’s been through a lot off the field and probably more than we give credit for.
“When I talked to these players and people on this coaching staff tonight before the game, they said Brady’s kind of been back to himself over the last three weeks, which tells me for a while that he was really out of it with everything that was going on with the team and everything that was going on in his life. So I believe him that he doesn’t know if he’s coming back to play, and we’ll just all have to find out at the same time together.”
“He Looked Like A 45-Year-Old Quarterback”
Brady and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bündchen, divorced last year, and the star took some time off for personal reasons during the season. Additionally, the couple were victims of the FTX cryptocurrency collapse, reportedly losing a fortune.
Commentator and former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman weighed in on Brady’s next steps based on his experience and observation of his performance.
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman — on SportsCenter with SVP — on the NFL future of Tom Brady. 🏈 pic.twitter.com/EhRgeDOhFn
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 17, 2023
“You don’t play until you’re 45 years old unless you just really love the game, and he obviously does,” Troy Aikman said. “He’s done it all, but tonight, let’s be honest. He looked like a 45-year-old quarterback, and I think if he comes back we do know that if was available and teams out there that needed a quarterback, Tom Brady would be at probably the top of the list.
“I mean, he’s well regarded, he can still play at a high level, but he’s got to have those pieces around him. Most of us needed that when we were in our early 30s. So if that’s in Tampa, great, but you can’t throw the ball 66 times and expect to do anything. And he’s been doing that for the last couple years. He’s led the league in pass attempts for the last two years at 44- and 45-years-old and that’s, uh, whatever the reasons are, that has to change wherever he is.”
With Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s nine-year career as the team’s starter coming to an abrupt ending with just two weeks left in the 2022 NFL season, speculation has been high that Brady will join the Raiders.
As the world waits to see what the legendary QB decides, the Bucs’ season-ending performance against the Cowboys is a point of contention for staying with the team.