Tom Brady's retirement might be on the horizon. It's difficult to digest that, given it's felt like an impossibility for years now, but the noise has never been louder. Brady didn't deny that he was thinking about it after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Chargers this on Sunday. Everything he's said on his podcast this week indicates it is something he will seriously consider.
Today, Skip Bayless gave us more evidence on Tuesday's iteration of Undisputed. He told Shannon Sharpe that he's hearing the Bucs would be "surprised" if Brady returned in 2022 (something that would undoubtedly devastate Skip).
This isn't a report from the Brady camp and it merely reflects the perception of somebody within the Tampa Bay organization, which means everything is still on the table. I'm sure there were a handful of times over Brady's last years in New England that the Patriots would've been surprised if he came back-- and then he did, time and time again.
Nevertheless, reports like this will probably start popping up with more regularity the longer we don't know what will happen. It simply reiterates my previous point-- the noise has never been louder. Does that mean Brady will retire? Not necessarily. But things have changed from last year to this year. We don't know what, exactly. It isn't his play; Brady still has the capability to rip apart defenses at will and lead his team down from insurmountable deficits, as we saw over the weekend. But something is different this time around, and it may result in the impossible: Tom Brady walking away.
Right now, the Bucs reportedly think that's the likeliest path he'll take. Which is much further down this road than we've ever gone before.