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Tom Brady ‘non-commital’ to returning for 2022 NFL season

Matt Johnson
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady takes the field Sunday competing for a shot at his eighth Super Bowl ring. Depending on how another postseason run ends, this could be the final time the greatest quarterback in NFL history suits up ever again.

Brady, age 44, is coming off an MVP-caliber season. He led the NFL in passing yards (5,316), touchdowns (43) and posted the second-best QBR (68.1) in the league during the regular season. While the former sixth-round pick continues to play at an elite level despite being the oldest active NFL player, there seems to be a real possibility he retires.

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

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported Sunday that sources close to Brady and those with the Buccaneers all recognize the All-Pro quarterback is non-commital about playing beyond this season. While no decision is final as of now, it’s no longer a given that Brady returns to the NFL next season.

According to Darlington, a Brady exit is becoming a more prevalent discussion in Tampa Bay. It’s echoed by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who said a decision will come after the 44-year-old quarterback can put his emotions aside and evaluate everything later this offseason.

While the seven-time Super Bowl champion has talked about playing until he is 50, the goal always seemed to be 45. It could set up for him to announce that the 2022 NFL season will be his last, one final opportunity for Tampa Bay to take an all-in approach before rebuilding the following year.

Either way, it’s evident pro football is close to losing its best player ever. But the Buccaneers aren’t finished quite yet, with one of the NFL’s best defenses partnering with an all-time great quarterback to try and hoist the Lombardi Trophy once again.

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