Tom Brady Squashes Rumors That He Could Retire Amid Buccaneers’ Poor Start

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Tom Brady haters, you might wanna look away. The quarterback you love to hate, Mr. deflategate, isn’t going away anytime soon.

Amid the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ (3-3) offensive struggles through the first six games of the 2022 NFL season, there has been speculation that Brady could call it quits midseason. The 45-year-old, however, isn’t ready to move on just yet. Speaking with the media Thursday, Brady said that he remains committed to the Buccaneers.

“I love the sport,” Brady said with a grin on his face. “I love the teammates. I want to do a great job with this team like I always have. So, no retirement in my future.”

Brady, of course, retired following the 2021 season — which lasted all of 40 days. He made the decision to return for a 23rd season in March. But given the Buccaneers’ struggles and the rumored turmoil in his personal life, some feel it might have been a mistake for Brady to return. Chris Simms, former NFL quarterback and current NBC Sports analyst, said on “Pro Football Talk Live” Wednesday that he would not be surprised if Brady retired during the season.

“Normally I’d feel like it’s Rodgers that would be that guy,” Simms said. “But because of this year and some of the off-the-field stuff that’s hitting home and personal stuff with Brady, this is the one year I feel maybe it might be Brady.”

Simms expounded on his comments and said that this is a “weird” season for Brady.

“I think Rodgers is usually the guy to be more renegade and be like ‘screw this, I’m out of here,'” Brady said. “But this is a weird year where we’re seeing Brady do weird crap and having personal issues.”

Tom Brady, Buccaneers’ Offense Scuffling

Whereas last year it seemed that you were able to pencil in the Buccaneers’ offense for 30-plus points each game, the 2022 season has been the exact opposite. Points have been hard to come by, as Tampa Bay has struggled in the red zone and in key situations. They also rank last in the league running the ball, averaging 67.5 yards per game.

The Buccaneers hit rock bottom as a squad in their 20-18 Week 6 road loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4). Tampa Bay entered the road contest as a 9.5-point favorite, going up against a team missing four starters in its secondary including star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, making his second-career start, exited the game after taking a huge hit from Buccaneers linebacker Devin White and was later diagnosed with a concussion. Mitchell Trubisky, who started the first four games of the season, came in relief and guided Pittsburgh to victory.

Brady and co. failed to take advantage of the mismatch. The Buccaneers struggled in the red zone, converting just 1-of-4 opportunities. Mike Evans, who entered Sunday averaging just over seven targets a game, only saw four balls go his way. Brady finished 25-of-40 for 243 yards with one touchdown.

Speaking with the media after the game, Brady expressed his disappointment with the performance.

“We didn’t earn it,” Brady said. “We didn’t earn the win. It’s a game of earning it and it’s a game of playing well and performing well and we’re just not doing a good job of that. I don’t think we’ve done it for six weeks. I think we’re all playing less than what we’re capable of. We’ve all gotta look at ourselves in the mirror and figure out why.”