Tom Brady came out of retirement on Selection Sunday. Since it was the biggest sports story of the day (Sorry, NCAA!) we've compiled all the takes from all the usual suspects, along with some local voices that you might not hear from otherwise.
Le Batard and Friends
The Le Batard crew was broadcasting from SXSW on Sunday. They were wrapping things up and headed to get something to eat when the Brady news broke. After confirming it was not a Ballsack Sports report, they got back behind the microphones to discuss the likelihood that he would really be back with the Buccaneers. Stugotz, who took a victory lap having predicted Brady wasn't really retiring, insists that Brady is going to force his way to San Francisco.
Want to know how big the Brady news is? Colin Cowherd worked on a weekend. Cowherd took Brady at his word when he retired, but thought he was a little ambiguous and that there was a chance he might come back. He compared it to REO Speedwagon still performing.
Scott Pioli was very unsurprised and questioned whether Brady would really play for Tampa Bay this season. And if he does, how much of the roster will return.
"I understand what the tweet said that he's coming back to Tampa. Again, he also retired six weeks ago or whatever it was. To me it's going to be very interesting to see how this whole thing plays out. And I'm not trying to start controversy or anything here, but it seems like that there was some I don't want to say tension, but something wasn't right when things ended down there. And there was talk about him being traded."
Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer and Conor Orr
Albert Breer wrote a quick reaction column pointing out all the clues the Brady and the Bucs had given us recently.
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said at the NFL scouting combine that Tampa Bay was “leaving the light on” for Tom Brady, in hopes that the greatest ever would return for a 23rd season.
Licht smirked as he said it, so some took that as a joke. Maybe they shouldn’t have.
And the way these guys were talking, it turns out, wasn’t an accident. A few days after Licht said what he did, I ran into Buccaneers vice president of football administration Mike Greenberg and, as we caught up on family and football, Greenberg told me he’d joked with people within the team that if Brady reversed course and came back, he’d be willing to name his third son (he and his wife were expecting) Tom Brady Greenberg.
Orr dove into the idea that Tampa Bay may not be the final stop on Brady's one-of-a-kind career.
Maybe his unfinished business is challenging the idea that we can place an age range on “finished” in the first place, or some other kind of health-related vaguary. But maybe his unfinished business is winning a Super Bowl with another team he’s always wanted to play for. With another coach he’s always secretly admired. With another wide receiver he’s always wanted to throw to.
Good Morning Football
Peter Schrager reflected on his recent conversations with Buccaneers GM Jason Licht and how they reveal, in retrospect, the franchise continuing to keep all their hopes in Brady's basket. He was impressed with the team's fearlessness and thinks the time away helped the quarterback realize he still has plenty of good football left.
Keyshawn, JWill and Max
Another group that never thought Tom Brady was serious about retiring. Jay Williams pointed out how hard Brady tried to sound busy in retirement. Williams also credited the Bucs for doing a good job being patient and keeping the lines of communication open to facilitate Brady's comeback. Max Kellerman said that Brady never seemed like he had a real reason to retire.
First Things First
Kevin Wildes never believed Brady from the start, saying" "I was surprised that anyone gave it any credence." Nick Wright called Brady a loser in the situation, calling it the "worst retirement we've ever seen."