Six days after his sprawling, social-media farewell to football, Tom Brady delivered a teaser. Instead of a firm reiteration that he has taken his last snap, the 44-year-old found one more tight window.
And allowed the remote chance of a sequel to slip through.
“You never say never,” Brady told co-host Jim Gray on his Let’s Go! podcast Monday. “At the same time, I know that ... I feel very good about my decision.”
Brady’s comment came in response to Gray’s question of whether Brady — who turns 45 in August — would entertain the notion of a comeback should a prominent quarterback get injured in training camp or struggle in September. Gray also elicited the names of other iconic athletes — such as Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali — who attempted comebacks.
“I don’t know how I’ll feel six months from now,” Brady said. “It could change, it most likely won’t. I try to make the best possible decision I can in the moment, which I did this last week. And again, I think it’s not looking to reverse course; I’m definitely not looking to do that.”
Yet his de facto retirement announcement seemed a reversal of course in itself. On the same podcast a week earlier, Brady told Gray he remained undecided on his football future and would make a decision when the “time is right.”
Less than 24 hours later, he issued an 18-paragraph farewell announcement on his Instagram account.
It came in the wake one of the best statistical seasons of his 22-year career, contradicting his longtime assertion that he would retire when he began to “suck.” Brady led the NFL in passing yards (5,316) and touchdowns (43) while guiding the Bucs to a franchise-record 13 regular-season victories.
His five game-winning drives in the regular season tied for his career high, and he nearly added a sixth in the playoffs, rallying Tampa Bay from a 24-point second-half deficit in a 27-24 loss to the Rams in what was the last game of his career.
“I think you have to be realistic that you never know what challenges there are going to be in life,” Brady told Gray. “Again, I loved playing. I’m looking forward to doing things other than playing. That’s as honest as I can be with you, Jim.”
Brady was equally vague when asked if he saw himself remaining in sports in any capacity. A global entrepreneur who recently launched his own apparel line, the seven-time Super Bowl champ indicated he’d find great reward in helping “athletes achieve their potential.”
“I want to be able to give back to people, and whatever form or fashion that takes, I’m up for it,” he added.
“I want to see other people do well and maximize their potential in life, whether that be an athlete, whether that be an entrepreneur, and so many lessons I’ve learned I think I can apply to those people and those professions. I’m not sure exactly what the future looks like, but it’s very exciting for me to think about those types of things.”
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Question now becomes, will he do some re-thinking?
Contact Joey Knight at email@example.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls
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