Given the way in which seven-time Super Bowl champion ‘retired’ last season and then just weeks later unretired, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that rumors suggest he will be staying on for yet another year.
However, will he be back in Tampa?
The Athletic’s Jeff Howe said, “Don’t ever write off the Patriots,” in a recent article that broke down where Brady might play next season if he decides he wants to play a 24th campaign in the NFL. In fact, he thinks Mac Jones could be traded.
After he took his talents to the Tampa Bay Bucs and won a Super Bowl, it seemed like Brady would never wear red, white, and navy blue. But, as he’s set to be a free agent once again after this season, Howe believes a reunion could be in the cards.
“The Patriots are slated to have more than $50 million in cap space in 2023, so they can again address their flaws, this time on the heels of a couple impressive draft classes,” Howe said.
“Brady and [head coach] Bill Belichick still have an abundance of respect for one another. They’ve made points to say it publicly on multiple occasions since the QB departed for Tampa. They also spent 23 minutes together in the visiting locker room at Gillette Stadium following Brady’s return in 2021 — an appointment they set up prior to the game.”
Howe added that no “egos” or “pride” would get in the way of Brady returning if it came down to that.
The Patriots are projected to have the third-most cap space in the league at $52.2 million in 2023, which would clear the way for his return. They also have a number of notable players who will be free agents after this season.
The seven-time Super Bowl champ gave some insight into his playing future during the Monday episode of his SiriusXM podcast, “Let’s Go!” with Jim Gray and Larry Fitzgerald.
When asked by Gray if he will at least be back next year, Brady laughed and said: “I’m on borrowed time anyway, so.”
Aside from the Patriots, Howe also mentioned the San Francisco 49ers, which Brady grew up a fan of as a child.
As of right now, Brady has to deal with the right now, with his Bucs sitting in first place in a dreadful NFC South at 5-6, with the Atlanta Falcons behind them at 5-7. At 8-3, the Bills are in second in a very competitive AFC East. The 6-5 Patriots are last in the four-team division, with every game mattering down the stretch.