Tom Brady He’s probably heading into his final season. When the 2022 NFL schedule is announced, act accordingly and consider it a farewell tour.
We know you’ve heard it before. For years, any slip or struggle translated into declaring it This is amazing Finally… just getting Brady to turn things around when it really matters, either by winning the Super Bowl or displaying a level of play that has called for some of the best years of his long career. An example of that circuit occurred in the 2021 season, where Brady played at a level close to MVP in his second season with Tampa Bay Buccaneersonly to fall short in the angry interval return against Los Angeles rams (Who then went on to win it all). It was the kind of ending where I assumed Brady would probably return. He did, but only after much drama and an alleged maneuver He may have been involved in a flirtation Miami Dolphin and the Coach Bruce Ariane steps down.
But two things happened this week that were slightly different from Brady’s previous developments. And absorbing in the context of Brady repeatedly declaring his goal to play until he’s 45 (which he reached in August), these developments are likely to be taken at more than face value.
Firstly, Broadcast deal with Fox Sports, who builds a profitable bridge to the next phase of Brady’s life. It was announced that it is a partnership that will begin when Brady retires. That’s a mystery, leaving Brady with plenty of wiggle room to assess his options at the end of next season and decide if he’s ready to leave the field for good. The timing is also clear, especially for the network, which is unlikely to announce this sort of thing without having a solid idea of Brady’s plans. If he wasn’t already planning for 2022 to be his last, Fox just took a massive roll of dice that Brady may have to wait two years (or longer in theory) to retire, while also hoping he won’t change his mind in that significant amount of time.
This is not normal for any television network. Particularly when it is said that there is a $375 million deal at stake, a number that is sure to significantly impact other talent negotiations across the entire company going forward. There’s almost no chance that Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch will announce on an earnings call (of all things) that Brady is in the fold if it’s a distant partnership. And there’s less chance that Fox will raise that kind of serious money just to put Brady down for an unknown period of time.
The obvious possible scenario: Brady’s schedule is exactly what he hoped it would be. He plans to retire permanently at the age of 45, having played 2022 as his last resort. And then he’ll move on to a broadcasting career that will actually pay him over the next 10 years more than he’s earned in 23 years playing in the NFL. He sends a telegram of the end. We just need to accept what the signs are telling us. A bit like the moment he put his property up for sale before his final season in New England. Those in the know said this was a sign of an end that was already in the works. Everyone else was operating in optimistic ignorance. So take it for what is there. The announced deal with Fox is a figurative “for sale” sign on Brady’s front lawn. The next step is coming, whether people want to accept it or not.
Don’t think pirates are blind to that either. If they are, they won’t force new season ticket holders to commit to 2022 And 2023 when their seats close. Aside from the Fox deal, this may be the next most blatantly obvious sign that Brady is heading into his latest campaign with the team. It’s the only reason to redeem tickets this way.
Which brings us to the other sign that Brady appears to be heading into the extended home of his career. That’s more accurate, but it tracks the man looking to squeeze every ounce of football into his final year: When the Buccaneers released photos Wednesday from the team’s second phase of voluntary off-season training, there was a surprising wait for everyone. Tom Brady had appeared and was throwing a soccer ball. He was expected to take part in the second day of training as well.
That was a surprising moment, given that Brady was so opposed to voluntary off-season training that he pressured NFL veterans to skip it while speaking during an NFL Players Association meeting last May. All this can be taken in two ways. Either Brady has changed his mind and sees a necessity to work with his new colleagues on what amounts to a topical mixture of some sort; Or he knows 2022 will be a curtain call for him and he is doing his best in anticipation of the end.
Given the other factors at play – his retirement target age and Fox’s massive deal – it’s all too fair to assume Brady will appear in light training: an unofficial sign that the end is near.
Of course, we’re talking about Brady. He lives to defy the limits that others have set on him as a player. He couldn’t stay retired for more than six weeks. He was repeatedly able to renew his fire to move forward and prepare his body to comply with that task.
Nothing is 100% when it comes to him leaving the NFL. But the cues and the deals in place suggest they are closer than ever. And that should get fans thinking about the Buccaneers’ schedule for 2022 for what’s likely to be: an end.