Tom Brady hasn’t decided if he will play in 2023, so stop asking

The Bucs quarterback says on his weekly podcast that he’s still decompressing from the wild-card loss to Dallas.
Tom Brady isn't thinking much about football or his future these days, so don't expect him to rush to a decision about his playing status for next season.
Tom Brady isn't thinking much about football or his future these days, so don't expect him to rush to a decision about his playing status for next season. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jan. 24

That persistent question came up again, this time during Tom Brady’s weekly Let’s Go! podcast.

When asked Monday if he had a timetable for deciding what he wanted to do about his football career, the 45-year-old quarterback didn’t use the R word, as in retirement. But his response was R-rated. A few expletives later, he arrived at, “I’m taking it a day at a time.”

Co-host Jim Gray said it sounded like Brady was antagonized by the question. “It’s only the question everybody wants to hear,” Gray said.

“I appreciate you asking. Thank you,” Brady said.

Then both Brady and Gray laughed, but that was the end of the discussion about his future.

At present, Brady said he is trying to “decompress” from the long NFL season, which ended for the Bucs’ (8-10) after a 31-14 loss to the Cowboys in the wild-card round. He said he has been spending time with his children and family, but has not thrown a football since the Jan. 16 loss.

“There’s a lot of decompression,” he said. “I know we use that word a lot but there is a real crash-landing element to all of this. And doing it for as long as I have, there’s no soft landing, either. It ends and it’s over and as much as you’d love for something to be a little softer on the way out, that’s just not the reality.”

Brady spoke about the Bucs’ up-and-down season that culminated with a poor performance against the Cowboys. On Sunday, he watched Dallas lose to the 49ers.

He noted that the teams that have played the best all season in the biggest games are the ones still standing: the 49ers, Eagles, Chiefs and Bengals.

“Our team didn’t play the best that often and it was very rare for us, unfortunately,” he said. “We just couldn’t figure out a way to improve our situation. You lose to a team like Dallas, Dallas goes to San Fran (Sunday). They got beat solidly. It wasn’t a runaway by any means, but San Fran was basically in the lead the whole game. It’s tough to win. You’ve got to do a lot of things right.”

Brady said one of the things he took away from the 2022 Bucs season was resiliency. He noted that learning how to cope with failure is one of the lessons he is teaching his three kids.

Brady said he is just catching up with all the things he missed during the season.

“Right now, I’m just literally thinking about my kids and just kind of hanging with them and getting them organized,” he said. “There’s a lot of things you put off during football season. Coach (Bill) Belichick always had a great analogy. He said, ‘Put it in the drawer.’ And finally, you open that drawer at the end of the season and you realize all the things you put in that drawer so it takes you a few weeks to dig your way out of it.”

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Another thing that has Brady annoyed is the $16,444 fine he received from the NFL for attempting to trip Cowboys safety Malik Hooker in the playoff loss. Center Ryan Jensen, who made his only appearance of the season in that game, was fined $8,333.33 for unnecessary roughness on the same play.

Brady said he is appealing.

“I tried to tackle him with my right shoulder and missed him. I wasn’t going to try and stick my arm out so I was trying to get him on the ground and I missed him completely. I didn’t even hit him,” Brady said. “I tried to trip him but I didn’t. I don’t know how you can get fined for something that didn’t even happen. Are they fining intention? It’s like targeting and you miss the person you’re (trying to) hit and they still call it targeting.

“So I’ve got to ... try to understand why this is the case.”

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