TAMPA — The Bucs say Tom Brady has not informed them about his plans for next season, though a CBS Sports report Friday night said the quarterback is preparing to retire and an announcement is imminent.
The report gained steam Saturday, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington reported that Brady is retiring after 22 seasons in the NFL.
Two prominent members of the Bucs organization told the Tampa Bay Times they are “just waiting to hear” from Brady and there remains no timetable for his decision on what would be his 23rd NFL season. Another member of Brady’s camp recommended to “be ready for anything” this time of year.
One thing is certain, Brady’s tone about his football future has definitely changed since the start of the 2021 season.
In September, coming off his seventh Super Bowl victory, Brady said he hoped his career with the Bucs would last at least through the 2022 season.
“Hopefully, I’ll be here a long time,” he said before the season opener against the Cowboys. “For many years.”
The Bucs are not pressing Brady for an answer, and it would be surprising to them if it came just a week after playing his final game of the season, a 30-27 loss to the Rams in the NFC division playoffs.
Citing “several sources who are within Brady’s inner circle,” Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that the 44-year-old quarterback will “most likely reveal his future plans in the coming days.”
La Canfora suggested that Brady would not want to interfere with the buildup to Super Bowl 56 in two weeks and would want to give the Bucs as much time as possible to prepare for 2022 without him.
The Bucs only have one quarterback under contact, former Florida star Kyle Trask, who was inactive for every game as a rookie this season.
Backup Blaine Gabbert is a free agent. Coach Bruce Arians has said if Brady retires, he would want to see what’s behind “door No. 2.”
Brady said Monday that he would not want a farewell tour heading into his final season because it would be “a distraction.” He is signed through the 2022 season.
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