Tom Brady said it loud and clear, in a way that made every middle-aged dad nod: “I’ve got a lot of (swearing) going on.”
It wasn’t a normal training camp, of course. The Buccaneers quarterback took a controversial and mysterious 11-day hiatus as the tabloids openly discussed his private family life. As Tampa Bay prepares to take the field Sunday night against the Cowboys in a highly anticipated game, here’s where things stand with Brady.
The 45-year-old is heading into what is expected to be his final season in the NFL, according to sources with knowledge of his thinking. He has never said so publicly, but several parties involved acknowledge that after the retreat and then the cancellation of the retreat last year, the end is near. It is the understanding it is the last year.
Regarding his 11-day hiatus, sources say Brady spent most of it in the Bahamas at a private resort with his family, fulfilling a mid-retirement promise he made to his wife, Gisele, that he would vacation with them in August for the first time in two decades. In his spare time, the Bucs left him alone to be with his family, with all due respect. There were no football conversations, the source said, no playbooks were sent to the Bahamas. It was his personal situation, and they allowed him to live.
He came back to go 6 of 8 for 44 yards (with a wide receiver drop) in the preseason game against the Colts.
Brady was asked at his press conference this week if this would be his last season.
“I think we’re all getting older one day at a time,” Brady said. “We don’t all know if we’ll be here next year or not, that’s the reality for every player, every coach, every parent. You never know. We should all take advantage of the opportunity we have.”
For only the second time in his career, Brady is out of contract for the following season. The only other time Brady entered a season without being under contract for the following season was in 2019, his last year in New England before leaving for Tampa in free agency.
While a source close to Brady insisted it didn’t matter – a deal would be done if he returned – it’s remarkable. Brady will earn $30 million this year, including a $15 million payout from his 2021 contract signing bonus. He received a $13.88 million bonus the day after signing a deal revised in April and will receive $1.12 million in base salary. But no new year has been added to his current deal.
When asked if Brady would play for another team after this year as he is a free agent, a source close to the QB greatly emphasized the affection Brady has for the Bucs, from the players to the coaches to the front office and ownership.
Earlier in the summer, the Dolphins were found guilty of tampering with their relationship with Brady, with “many detailed discussions” with Brady through vice president Bruce Beal. Brady was undisciplined.
Some of that impermissible contact came while Brady was under contract with the Bucs, whose then-head coach Bruce Arians said during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine that they wouldn’t trade Brady for less. of five first-round picks.
When it comes to Brady’s retirement, a source close to him warned that emotions are fluid and decisions could always come down to who holds a trophy at the end of the season or feelings based on whether this nobody either Brady or not.. It is possible.
It’s more likely, however, that Brady will finish this year and then head to FOX Sports, where a 10-year, $375 million announcer/ambassador deal awaits.
Brady turned 45 on August 3, which is also significant. Brady has always said publicly and privately that he would play until he was 45. Last year, his brief retirement at 44 left a tidbit unanswered, which is why he pulled the plug a year earlier than expected.
After this year, it would be on schedule.
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