Speculation about Tom Brady's retirement escalates

Questions about Tom Brady’s future intensified on Saturday after reports surfaced that he planned to retire after 22 seasons in the NFL....

Questions about Tom Brady’s future intensified on Saturday after reports surfaced that he planned to retire after 22 seasons in the NFL. His agent declined to put a timeline on such a decision or confirm the veracity of the information.

“Without getting into the accuracy or inaccuracy of what is being reported, Tom will be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy,” Don Yee, Brady’s agent, said in a statement on Saturday. “He knows the realities of the football industry and the planning calendar as well as anyone, so it should be soon.”

Brady, who once said he wouldn’t retire until his performance began to decline, this season led the league in passing yards (5,316), completions (485) and touchdowns (43) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady, 44, and the Buccaneers lost last week in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Los Angeles Ramsafter the quarterback nearly led his team to another incredible comeback.

Brady is under contract with the Buccaneers through the 2022 season, but the team would recoup $16 million of his signing bonus if he retires.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington first reported that Brady would retire around 2:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, citing “multiple sources.” Brady’s lifestyle brand, TB12, appeared to confirm the news on their Twitter account minutes later, but later deleted their post.

At the time the news broke, a Buccaneers rep said he was unable to confirm Brady’s retirement. Bruce Arians, the team’s head coach, told the Tampa Bay Times that Brady had not informed the organization of his intention to retire.

Adding to the confusion, Brady’s retirement was splashed on the front of NFL.com, which quoted its insider reporter Ian Rapoport. The retirement was also widely covered by official NFL social media accounts.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy, meanwhile, said the NFL has not been officially notified that Brady is retiring. The NFL is not only a football league but also a media company competing to report news like the others, two ends that sometimes cross awkwardly.

Yee’s statement attempted to pause the turmoil and potentially allow Brady to announce his future plans on his own terms, but the news cycle was already spinning. At 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Mike Silver reported for Bally Sports that Brady had contacted Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht to say he had not made a final decision on retirement. KRON Bay Area Information Station followed by a report quoting Brady’s father, Tom Brady Sr., as saying his son is not retiring.

Brady’s public comments in the days following the end of Tampa Bay’s season had seemed to signal his retirement. On his “Let’s go!” podcast with Jim Gray last week, he spoke about wanting to be more available for his wife, Gisele Bundchen, and three children and said he would make a decision with them on what to do next.

If so, so many details about Brady’s career seem apocryphal. His seven championships are more than any franchise has won. He would retire as the NFL’s career leader in touchdown passes, yardage and wins. He has won the Super Bowl MVP award five times. Only one other quarterback, John Elway, has even started in five Super Bowls.

Brady shot to fame with the New England Patriots, going from a sixth-round pick in 2000, No. 199 overall, to the most prominent on-court member of an enduring dynasty. But the Patriots not wanting to sign him to a long-term contract, Brady in March 2020 bolted for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving the only team and head coach he ever played for, Bill Belichick, for one of the least successful franchises in the NFL.

With the Buccaneers, Brady mastered a new offense, adapted to new teammates and coaches, and dominated the league, all while the coronavirus pandemic limited in-person contact. He won his seventh titleagainst Kansas City, last February in the Buccaneers stadium.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Speculation about Tom Brady's retirement escalates
Speculation about Tom Brady's retirement escalates
Newsrust - US Top News
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