Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went out in rather embarrassing fashion Monday night in their NFC Wild Card Playoff loss to the visiting Dallas Cowboys, a team that had a whole lot to prove in order to silence the critics.
We can safely consider those critics silenced, at least for the moment, as Dallas dominated en route to a 31-14 win that wasn’t nearly as close as the score might indicate.
The elephant in the room for Tampa Bay immediately following the game was, of course, what’s next for Brady. But the greatest quarterback of all time wasted no time in seemingly indicating it was likely goodbye — not to the NFL but to the Buccaneers.
During the closing portion of Brady’s postgame presser, which some media members viewed as an “unusual way” of ending a session like this, he started off by saying, “Yeah, it just feels like the end of the season.”
That snippet alone sure sounded like Brady still has some unfinished football business before he finally bids farewell to the NFL for good.
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Tom Brady seemingly says goodbye to Bucs in post-game press conference
While the words that followed were classy and respectful, with Brady even taking a moment to acknowledge the beat reporters who are there every day, the tone sure felt like he was putting a cemented bow on his three-year tenure with the Buccaneers.
When the seven-time Super Bowl champion specifically brought up the organization, it felt like the perfect opportunity for Brady to say something cliche about hoping to be back even if he didn’t mean it.
Instead, Brady kind of stumbled and said, “Hopefully, you know, I love this organization, it’s a great place to be and thank you everybody for welcoming me.”
If that’s not a goodbye from someone who already has their sights set on a handful of new landing spots, then maybe Tom Brady has just become a super sentimental guy and felt the need to specifically deliver a heartfelt goodbye to Tampa-area reporters.
But all signs point to Brady absolutely not retiring and looking for another perfect fit-type scenario, just as he did in 2020 when he signed with a Buccaneers squad that was loaded from top to bottom.
If so, we can safely count on the Las Vegas Raiders aggressively pursuing his services along with the Miami Dolphins among his many likely suitors.
Brady’s return home to his once-beloved San Francisco 49ers will also continue to be a pesky rumor prominently in the mix until it’s officially debunked by either Brady himself or ‘Niners general manager John Lynch.
In the meantime, the Brady photoshops of him wearing just about every uniform in the league have already begun, giving fans something to salivate over until any kind of decision is made.
Knowing Brady’s style, we won’t be hearing anything other than the incessant rumors for the next several weeks, possibly months.