Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is in the final season of his contract, and the 45-year-old hasn’t yet revealed if he plans to continue playing in 2023.
Brady announced his retirement a week after his Bucs were eliminated by the Los Angeles Rams (the eventual Super Bowl 56 champions) in the NFC Divisional Round. 40 days later, however, the seven-time Super Bowl champion announced that he was returning for a 23rd season.
If Brady does return in 2023, it may not necessarily be with the Buccaneers. He could hit free agency if he so desires, and plenty of teams would be interested in the future Hall of Famer.
Try not to worry too much, Tampa Bay fans. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, who now serves as a senior football consultant for the organization, is optimistic that Brady will return to Tampa Bay in 2023.
“He loves it here,” Arians said to Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com. “He loves his teammates, his coaches and the organization. If he decides to play next season, I think it will be with the Buccaneers.”
But that’s not all. One source close to the team provided even more assurance of a Tom Brady return to Tampa, telling Kaufman the following:
“Everybody here knows Brady is one year at a time, but what you see every day is a guy who acts like he wants to keep playing,” the source said. “This is his team, and the team loves him. He’s heavily invested in many ways. It’s hard to imagine he’d find a better situation with another franchise. And he’s been playing great for three years.”
Brady and the Tampa Bay offense got off to a sluggish start this season. Following a perfect 2-0 start, the team dropped five of its next six games. This included ugly road losses to two bottom feeders in the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers in Weeks 6 and 7, respectively.
But after they barely pulled off a close win against the Rams in Week 9, the Buccaneers kept the momentum going by defeating the NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks 21-16 in Munich, Germany.
Through 10 games, Brady has completed 66 percent of his pass attempts for 2,805 yards, 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Despite an injury-ravaged offensive line, he’s only been sacked 14 times.
Tampa enters Week 12 half a game up on the Atlanta Falcons (5-6) for first in the NFC South division. They’ll try to make it three in a row when they visit the slumping Cleveland Browns this Sunday.