Last year I predicted Tom Brady would continue playing in the NFL…and he retired a week later. I was surprised to hear it of course, but much less surprised when Tom Brady announced he was ending his retirement to play in the 2022 season. Although Brady announced his second retirement at the end of the 2022 season, I suspect he will still end up playing 2 or 3 more seasons. Why on Earth would this man at 46 years old keep playing?
Most Importantly, He Still Can Do It!
Despite the Bucs having a rough season, and Tom Brady performing under expectations, he still finished the season with the 2nd most passing yards of any QB in the league and made the playoffs. Tom Brady is still performing at an elite level. Each year it will likely get harder for him, but of course people have been saying that for almost a decade. He appears to eat healthier than virtually anyone else in professional sports. As long as he stays in the gym, he can continue to play. I don’t think Brady will play if he becomes a bottom 10 QB in the League. As a consistent top 5 across any measure though? I think he will stay.
Bang For His Buck:
Tom Brady just went through a massive divorce with at least from an outsiders perspective, the desire to play football being the catalyst for the divorce. I would think for that divorce to be “worth it” he would need to play for a lot more than 1 more season. His ex-wife was also the main reason why Tom Brady would have retired. Without her clear and public position on wanting him to retire, his voice is now the only one in the conversation.
Maintaining His Legacy As The GOAT:
Each year he adds on to playing in the NFL as a starting QB effectively exponentially separates him from ever being hurdled by another QB. No one will ever get to the yards, the super bowls, the touchdown passes that Tom Brady has if he plays for 25 seasons. The average NFL career is 3 years. Virtually all great hall of fame QBs retire by 20 years. The final couple years can make a big difference in protecting his records.
No rational 40+ year old man who is struggling to keep up with guys half his age, who is worth $100 Million + dollars and can make more money announcing / endorsing, is going to play professional football. The hits hurt like hell, the schedule is intense, and keeping up with the training gets harder each year. The odds of anyone playing 20 seasons is so incredibly low, the odds of anyone playing 25 is virtually impossible.
The only person in the league who could make a shot at it is Mahomes. Patrick Mahomes has had an amazing career start. If Brady is able to play at an elite level, or even an adequate NFL level, he could still add 20 touchdowns and 3,000 yards a season, further separating him from the pack.
Free Agency And Team Building:
Tom was super bowl shopping when he joined the Bucs, and as a free agent again he can once more shop the team that is likely to only need a QB and 1 or 2 additional parts to win a Super Bowl. The Bucs just aren’t that team any more. The easiest way for him to part ways with the Bucs is to retire, and then go shopping as the 2023 season starts.
Gronk has hinted that he is bored and may come back to Football if Tom calls him. Of course Gronk is Tom’s buddy, and we all want to work with our friends, but Gronk an amazing Tight End, maybe the best that has ever played, and the duo can coming together to a team really help build a Super Bowl winning team.
Brady doesn’t need the money. Google estimates show his net worth post divorce at around $250 million. He also has a 10 year $375 million announcing contract lined up with Fox. He doesn’t need money. This is super important because most quarterbacks at his level are commanding $40 million – $50 million a year. Brady has been doing it for $25 million. I could see him going for $20 million to ensure there is enough money for the team. With a salary cap of around $220 million, an elite QB willing to play for half price of less can make team building much, much easier. I can guarantee Brady would rather have another super bowl ring than $10 million.
Building the team also contributes to his longevity. An offensive line that can protect Brady will of course make his career longer. Switching teams will give Brady the chance to not only win another Super Bowl, but to do it across 3 franchises.
We all like round numbers. Here are the records that Brady can get playing 2 more seasons as an elite QB, and maybe a 3rd season just for fun:
- 9 Super Bowl Wins (OK, This is of course a pipe dream, but possible.)
- 100,000 Regular season passing yards
- 700 passing touchdowns
- 7,500 passing completions
- 286 career wins (100 more than the next guy on the list)
- 115 pass completion Duo with Gronk.
The Right Deal Can Be Made:
Tom Brady doesn’t NEED to play, and he doesn’t NEED the money. Therefore it stands to reason he will only play if the deal is correct. With the Bucs he was able to skip a lot of practice days for a better work life balance. He will need this same treatment at a new team.
He needs Gronk to come with him. Gronk and Tom can read each other almost magically. Tom will require that Gronk is part of the deal to bring him in.
He needs a strong defense: Rather than charging $40 million to $50 million, Brady may charge $20 million and require that saved money go towards a strong and deep offensive line.
He needs to be in Florida. His family is in Florida. Going to say the 49ers would cause more separation from his family than what he wants. The only way for this to work is for the Dolphins to recruit Tom Brady.
What do you think? Will Tom Brady come out of retirement for a Super Bowl run? What would be really cool is if he also brought Terrell Owens back with him!