Handfuls of knowledgeable individuals within the NFL community have openly questioned whether or not seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady is actually retired following the 2021 season, as some feel he simply wants to move on from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and play for a different contender.
Brady has repeatedly been linked in rumors with the San Francisco 49ers, his favorite childhood team, and, more recently, the Miami Dolphins. However, the 44-year-old is still under contract with the Buccaneers for the 2022 campaign as of the first day of March, as Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston pointed out.
Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht told NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Tuesday the organization would “leave the light on” regarding a potential Brady return later this year, and head coach Bruce Arians made it clear he’d also welcome the G.O.A.T. back with open arms this spring or summer.
“That door is never closed,” Arians said of Brady, according to Kevin Patra of the league’s website. “Whenever Tom wants to come back, he’s back. … If Tom wants to come back, we’ll have plenty of money for him.”
Some have speculated the Buccaneers could agree to either trade or release Brady as a thank you for the Super Bowl LV victory over the Kansas City Chiefs so he could finish his career elsewhere. Arians indicated that’s not being discussed by those still with the club today.
“Nope,” he responded when asked about that possibility. “Bad business.” Arians added the Buccaneers would need “five No. 1” draft picks “maybe” to consider losing Brady to a different team this year.