Just like last year, a top storyline throughout this NFL season will be if we’re witnessing the last campaign of Tom Brady’s illustrious career.
Shortly after the Los Angeles Rams eliminated Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round, TB12 announced his retirement. Just 40 days later, however, Brady went back on his word and announced he was suiting up for a 23rd season.
Brady is playing in a contract year for the Bucs, having agreed to a one-year extension after leading the franchise to a Super Bowl 56 championship against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Speaking to reporters days before the Buccaneers’ season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, the seven-time Super Bowl champion was predictably asked if 2022 would mark his final NFL campaign.
As you would expect, Brady didn’t want to give a clear-cut answer. Here’s what he told reporters, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
“I think we’re all getting one day older at a time. We’re all not sure whether we’re going to be here next year or not, that’s the reality for every player, every coach, every parent. You just never know. We should all take advantage of the opportunity that we have, which is the one we have in front of us now.”
Brady made headlines earlier this offseason when he took an 11-day break from the Buccaneers due to personal reasons. Brady nor the Bucs would give away any details, but reports have suggested that there’s “tension” in his marriage with Gisele Bündchen.
With Brady returning to the Bucs, the NFC South club remains one of the primary favorites to win Super Bowl 57. Tampa Bay brought several core players back to maximize their championship window with Brady, including Chris Godwin, Carlton Davis and Leonard Fournette.
However, they won’t have tight end Rob Gronkowski (retired), center Ryan Jensen (likely out the entire season with a knee injury) or standout guards Alex Cappa (signed with the Cincinnati Bengals) and Ali Marpet (retired).
After visiting the Cowboys on Sunday evening, the Bucs will continue their trip south with a Week 2 road tilt against the division rival New Orleans Saints. In Week 3, Brady and Tampa Bay will host Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers at Raymond James Stadium.