Will Tom Brady retire? Buccaneers QB says family will play key role in final decision: ‘It’s not always what I want’

The NFL hasn’t been without Tom Brady for more than two decades, but that could change soon. Brady orchestrated an impressive comeback in the NFC divisional game against the Rams, with Tampa down 27-3 at 7:07 in the third quarter, and helped his team tie the game again at 27 before losing on a field exit. goal.

The loss immediately raised questions about Brady’s future in Tampa, where he has a $25 million contract next season. Immediately after the game, Brady was non-standard and non-committal about what his future would be next season.

IYER: What’s next for Tom Brady after the divisional round loss?

However, not everyone was buying that.

Brady made his position clear on Monday when he appeared on the Let’s go! podcast with jim gray, where he went into a lot of detail about how this season went and ended, what the future may hold, and what some of his priorities are.

In particular, Brady said he’s going to take his time figuring out what’s next and do something he hasn’t done in the last six months and spend a lot of time with his family.

“There’s really no rush to find out what’s next. I’ll know when I know,” Brady said. “It’s a day after the season and we can all relax a bit – it’s been six months straight of football. Now it’s time to spend some time with my family and my kids.”

Brady said his family has been key in getting him through this most recent season, one in which the Bucs were frequently injured and had several bad losses.

“Playing football gives me a lot of joy and I love it. But not playing football, now it gives me a lot of joy,” he said. “As I’ve grown up, the best part is that football is extremely important in my life and it means a lot to me and I care a lot about what we’re trying to accomplish as a team and I care a lot about my teammates. The difference now that I am older is that now I also have children, and I also worry a lot about them”.

However, as bad as some of the losses were, Brady would have rather had that result than just not played at all.

“I’d rather play and lose than not play,” Brady said. “As much as it hurts to lose, it’s much more enjoyable for me to be in the arena than not to be in the arena.

But as important as it is to play versus not play, it’s also important to Brady that he play at a high level.

“Every year I just have to make sure that I have the ability to commit to what the team really needs. The team deserves nothing less than the best of me. And if I feel like I’m not committed to that, or I can’t play at the level championship, then you have to give someone else a chance to play.

That was not a concern this year. At age 44, Brady led the NFL in completions (485), passing yards (5,316), and touchdowns (43). It’s the first time he’s led the league in yards since 2017 and the first time he’s led in touchdown passes since 2015, when he was still with the Patriots.

Brady may quietly retire without fanfare or a farewell tour next season, saying it would be “a distraction.” He also said that he derives no joy from talking about legacy or past achievements, but simply from competing.

And his team did just that this year, going 13-4 with the second-ranked offenses in the league. All that winning is also good. But Brady doesn’t get any joy from that either, at this stage of his career.

“Games become a bit of a relief when you get older. Instead of the thrill of victory, they become a relief of victory. Losses can hurt quite a bit and they do hurt for a while,” he said. “I’m proud and pleased with everything we’ve accomplished this year. I know when I give it my all, it’s something to be proud of. And I’ve literally given everything I’ve had this year, last year and the year before that. I don’t leave anything half done.

Ultimately, Brady also has other priorities and responsibilities outside of football. Namely, being the father and husband of his wife Gisele, and it is in the performance of those duties that the crux of Brady’s decision to return could lie.

“It hurts him to see me get hit,” Brady continued. “And he deserves what he needs from me as a husband and my children deserve what they need from me as a father.”

“It’s what relationships are about. It’s not always what I want. It’s what we want as a family. And I’ll spend a lot of time with them and figure out what’s next in the future.”