Free-agent quarterback Tom Brady has had numerous opportunities this winter to slam the door shut on a possible return to playing later this year.
Brady has repeatedly gone in different directions, and he did so again while attending what was referred to as an “unofficial retirement” gathering on Thursday night.
“There is nothing I love more than football,” Brady said at the event, as shared by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “But I have young children and they watched enough of their dad’s games and it’s time for me to watch their games.”
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who was locked in regarding Brady’s first un-retirement last year and who has repeatedly said he thinks the 45-year-old could have second thoughts about not playing in 2023, couldn’t help but notice what the seven-time Super Bowl champion didn’t say during his latest public appearance.
“That’s not exactly the kind of unwavering, unshakable, irrevocable commitment to retirement that will keep him from waking up one day in June or July and deciding that he’s checked enough boxes to return to football without credibly being accused of being a bad father,” Florio wrote about Brady’s comments.
Florio pointed out that some teams that could’ve been interested in Brady such as the Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders have seemingly moved on from possibly pursuing the future Hall of Famer. While the San Francisco 49ers did sign Sam Darnold, they don’t have a ton of money attached to the position heading into the NFL Draft.
Brady, of course, grew up a 49ers fan in San Mateo, Calif., where his parents still live.
Brady happens to have one son living in New York. Perhaps the Washington Commanders could convince TB12 to play ahead of Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett for a team that could’ve been a top QB1 away from making the playoffs this past season. If the Detroit Lions are seriously considering making a blockbuster move for Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson, maybe they’d sign Brady for a year without having to trade any draft assets.
It’s also worth noting that Brady doesn’t necessarily have to play this year to eventually make another comeback. Sure, he turns 46 in August, but he’s already notched numerous remarkable victories over Father Time. What’s one more for the G.O.A.T. before he really retires “for good?”