NFC Notes: Tom Brady, Buccaneers, Packers

Tom Brady

Even though Tom Brady announced his retirement himself in a sincere-sounding video, there’s no real way to head off the speculation about him coming back — especially since Brady himself pulled the whole retire and unretire move last season. There’s a split in NFL circles about whether Brady is truly done, with some people taking him at his word. 

“I’m sure he knows all of his (current) options and would rather do this,” one NFL executive said via the Athletic’s Mike Sando. “I truly think he got to the point where he wanted to retire last year, he just didn’t know how. Last year and this year showed him the fantasy of going out on top is probably gone. Given where his kids are in New York and Miami, there are only a handful of places he could maybe play. Does he want to start over and do all that?”

Others aren’t so sure. 

“You are telling me Brady is going to be calling San Francisco at Jacksonville next season and he is going to be looking down to the field at Trey Lance and Trevor Lawrence and it’s going to be a 7-7 game in the second quarter and he is going to be sitting there saying, ‘I’m where I should be, in Jacksonville’s press box?’” a veteran coach said. “He has played too well, too recently. I just don’t buy it.”

Sando doesn’t think the idea of Brady returning to play in 2023 is completely far-fetched, especially now that he’s taking the year off and won’t begin his broadcast career with FOX until the fall of 2024. But he adds it would have to be the exact right situation, perhaps with a team he’s already familiar with that loses a quarterback to injury or unforeseen circumstance, that’s close to family and contending for a Super Bowl. 


Tom Brady Sr. revealed that his son has had a difficult season both on and off the field, which may have contributed to his second retirement.

“This has been a really rough six months on his personal life, his family life, and his football life,” Brady Sr. said, via “He once said this, he said, ‘I’m getting tired of getting hit.’ Having played 23 years and he holds the ignominious record of most sacks against in the NFL . . . and there must be another two or three thousand knockdowns. At 45 years of age, you say, ‘Hey, do I want to get hit one more time?’ The answer’s really Nah, I really don’t want to unless everything’s flipping. Unfortunately, it wasn’t clicking this year and I think it was a foregone conclusion.”

  • Buccaneers QB Tom Brady when asked if there was even a one percent chance he would play again: “I think for me, I know in my heart how I feel. I put it out on the field for 23 years and I’m super proud of what’s been accomplished…” (Rick Stroud)
  • Brady continued on his career: “You know, I just wanted to keep last week really short and sweet and I felt like I’ve given a lot, I’ve gained a lot. I’ve learned a lot. And life is about, you know, exciting things ahead. I think when one thing closes as football has for me, you know 32 years of my life……and it’s hard to make decisions like that but it’s certainly the right time.” (Stroud)


  • The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman lists Packers CB and All-Pro returner Keisean Nixon as the team’s top free agent to re-sign. 
  • Other notable free agents include WR Allen Lazard, S Adrian Amos, DT Jarran Reed, TE Robert Tonyan, WR Randall Cobb, and TE Marcedes Lewis, per Schneidman.
  • He adds whether they come back next year depends on a number of different factors for each, including Green Bay’s cap space, their asking price and free agent market, and whether other upgrades are available. 
  • Oklahoma S Justin Broiles met with the Packers at the Tropical Bowl. (Justin Melo)

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