This time, it will be for real.
Tom Brady is “expected” to retire after the 2022 season, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports.
Brady, of course, retired during the offseason before unretiring 40 days later. He is entering his third season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“The 45-year-old is heading into what is expected to be his final season in the NFL, according to sources with knowledge of his thinking,” Rapoport wrote Sunday morning. “He has never said it publicly, but multiple parties involved acknowledge that after last year’s retirement then unretirement, the end is coming. That is the understanding, that this is the final year.”
However, Rapoport left a seed of doubt later in his report.
“As for Brady retiring, one source close to him cautioned that emotions are fluid and decisions could always come down to who is holding a trophy at the end of the season or feelings based around whether or not that person is Brady,” Rapoport wrote. “That is conceivable. More likely, however, is that Brady will finish this year, then head to FOX Sports, where a 10-year, $375 million announcer/ambassador deal awaits.”
The Buccaneers quarterback took a few weeks off in the middle of training camp which was a planned vacation in the Bahamas with his family, something he and his wife agreed to in the middle of his first retirement.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers open the season Sunday night vs. Dallas, with coach Todd Bowles taking over for Bruce Arians.