Several players from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers believe that Tom Brady won’t return to the club in 2023 based on their final interactions with the star quarterback.
“I’d be surprised if he was back,” an anonymous player said, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
“He sounded like a person saying goodbye for good,” another teammate added.
Brady said following the Buccaneers’ wild-card game loss to the Dallas Cowboys that he’d take some time after the season to decide his future.
He retired for 40 days last offseason before returning for a 23rd campaign in 2022. The seven-time Super Bowl champion’s numbers plummeted to 4,694 passing yards and 25 touchdowns after leading the league in both categories last season with 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns.
The Buccaneers fired several assistant coaches after the season, including Byron Leftwich. He became their offensive coordinator in 2019 – a year before Brady joined the franchise.
Tampa Bay’s offense struggled throughout the majority of the regular season. The club won the NFC South with an 8-9 record despite posting 18.4 points per game (25th in the NFL).
Brady has a 32-18 record as a starter in three seasons with Tampa Bay after spending the first 20 years of his career as a member of the New England Patriots. He led the Bucs to a Super Bowl LV win in his first campaign with the franchise.
Brady plans to spend time with his family while he weighs his options for the future. He reportedly signed a 10-year, $375-million contract to be a broadcaster with Fox Sports once he retires.
The 15-time Pro Bowler could also opt to return for his 24th campaign with a new club, as he’s set to become a free agent for the second time in his illustrious career.
Tampa Bay will conduct a search for a new offensive coordinator while it awaits a decision from the quarterback.
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