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Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ players reportedly bracing for Tom Brady retirement after playoffs

Matt Johnson
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is the best player in NFL history with a postseason resume that is unmatched in professional sports. But as the MVP candidate and his teammates prepare for a crucial NFC playoff game, there is reportedly a belief it could be his last run in the NFL.

Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion, has talked about playing until he is 50. Already the most accomplished quarterback in NFL history, his performance this season puts him neck-and-neck with Aaron Rodgers for NFL MVP.

  • Tom Brady stats (2021): 5,316 passing yards, 43 passing touchdowns, 102.1 QB rating. 67.5% completion rate

But as the 44-year-old’s kids get older, becoming more involved in sports, there has been a belief that family time will determine when he walks away from the NFL. Now before a marquee matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, there is buzz about Brady retiring.

According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, many in the Buccaneers’ organization are bracing for this to be Brady’s final playoff run. If Tampa Bay is knocked out of the postseason Sunday by Los Angeles, it would be Brady’s last NFL game ever. Even a few teammates who are reportedly close to him believe this is it.

“He hasn’t signaled one way or the other what he’s going to do and maybe he doesn’t know himself. But it wouldn’t be surprising if this was the end.”

Source close to Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, via CBS Sports

This isn’t even the first piece of speculation regarding Brady’s future. During a recent appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up”, former New England Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich said he wouldn’t be surprised if Brady walks away from pro football after the NFL playoffs.

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There’s no doubt Brady could keep playing for several more seasons. He remains one of the most accurate passers in the NFL, leading game-winning drives with ease. But he is also venturing out into the business world more, launching an athletic apparel line and seemingly preparing for a post-football career.

  • Tom Brady career stats: 84, 520 passing yards, 624 passing touchdowns, 97.6 QB rating, 64.2% completion rate

Time will tell whether or not the growing belief he retires is accurate. Regardless of the result on Sunday, the Buccaneers’ quarterback certainly won’t provide concrete answers. But if this is the end for Tom Brady, the NFL will almost certainly never see another player like him.

If Brady walks away, you can bet Rob Gronkowski will follow him into retirement and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.