Buccaneers Haven't Completely Given Up on Tom Brady Yet

Tom Brady
Tom Brady / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Tom Brady has left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a bit of a lurch with his retirement. He'll still count for some money against the cap over the next few years, even though he won't be suiting up, and the Bucs have no obvious successor on the roster, nor is one readily available via the trade market or NFL draft. The rest of the roster is built to win right now, so taking a season off while figuring out how to fill the quarterback position isn't an option.

Of course, that problem might just magically go away if Brady returns. There has been absolutely no indication the future Hall of Famer is regretting his decision to step away. Yet rumors persist that nobody around the NFL thinks he's done with football. Bucs GM Jason Licht chatted about that today with Peter Schrager at the NFL Combine and said the Bucs would "leave a light on" for Brady if at some point he decides he wants to play again.

It is really the only way to publicly approach the situation. Even if Licht knows for sure there is not a chance Brady comes back, he'll still broadcast that the QB would be welcome anyway.

It also indicates, even if just a bit, that the Bucs haven't completely given up on Brady. Nobody thinks he's done with football because he is a maniacal competitor, and to hear Mike Florio tell it expectations are bordering on a return before the offseason is over. There's no concrete information that Brady will come back, but the vibe around the league suggests otherwise. The Bucs are maybe the only team really worth listening to in the absence of concrete info because they had Brady last.

They haven't given up on him. It may be wishful thinking, and nobody would blame them. But who knows? Only Brady.