The Tom Brady watch is on again. Officially now that his NFL season is over after 45-year old’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers team fell to the Dallas Cowboys by a 31-14 count in wild-card action of the NFL Playoffs.
With his contract set to expire, options for Brady include a return to the NFL for a 24th season or retiring into a Fox Sports broadcast booth or perhaps a more leisurely retirement into a pursuit of businesses and hobbies outside of football.
I do not think Brady will retire. I have to believe this past year with the Bucs is not how he wanted his farewell to the game season to go.
Here are some possible outcomes of the upcoming option for Brady to return to the field.
Brady could always return to Tampa. He has spent his last three seasons there, winning a Super Bowl back in Year One. The Buccaneers won the NFC South all three years. His top two receivers, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, are under contract. A negative is that the Bucs finished with a losing record this year. They may not want Brady back plus it sure sounded like Brady was saying goodbye to the city in his post-game press appearance after the setback to the Cowboys. 00:05
Miami is considered to be the front-runner for Brady’s services. After all, the Dolphins have already gone after Brady before, with owner Stephen Ross being disciplined after an NFL investigation revealed the team tampered in trying to put together a package deal with Brady and former Saints coach Sean Payton while Brady was under contract to Tampa Bay. That’s called tampering.
Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa played well when healthy in Mike McDaniel’s first season as head coach, but there has to be concern about his long-term durability. He missed four regular-season games plus the wild-card round playoff loss to the Bills after he sustained three concussions this year.
I think the Las Vegas Raiders are a possibility. This would be a reunion between Brady and former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, now Las Vegas head coach. The Raiders have parted ways with quarterback Derek Carr, who has been its starting quarterback for nine years.
My longshot is for Brady to return to the New England Patriots. Think about it. He played for 20 seasons in New England under Bill Belichick and they won six Super Bowls together. The Pats have struggled to score ever since Brady left the franchise. Winning another title for New England would be quite a way to end his career. And all reports out there say that he and Belichick are still in good speaking terms.
Other teams that are possibly in the market for a new starting quarterback include the Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and Washington Commanders.
Last option is TV. Last offseason, Brady signed a long-term deal to be the top color commentator for Fox Sports’ NFL coverage when he retired. The Post’s Andrew Marchand reported it would be a 10-year deal worth a total of $375 million.