Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said Monday he’ll take his time before deciding on what’s next for his legendary football career.
“I’m going to go home and get a good night’s sleep,” Brady said after the Buccaneers’ 31-14 wild-card loss to the Dallas Cowboys. “This has been a lot of focus on this game. It’ll just be one day at a time, truly.”
In his possible final career game, Brady completed 35 of 66 pass attempts for 351 yards and two touchdowns against one interception. The Buccaneers fell behind early, and didn’t get their first points until the Cowboys were up 24-0.
“Just feels like the end of a season,” Brady said when asked about his feelings walking off the field after the defeat.
Brady briefly retired last February but decided to return to the Bucs 40 days later for his 23rd NFL season. The 45-year-old – who led the league in passing yards and touchdowns in 2021 – took a step back in 2022, finishing the regular season with 25 touchdowns in 17 games, his lowest TD total since 2019.
Tampa Bay, which won the NFC South despite its 8-9 record, averaged only 18.4 points per game, ranking 25th in the NFL. It was the team’s first year with head coach Todd Bowles, who was promoted in March to replace the retiring Bruce Arians.
“There are lessons for all of us every year of our life,” Brady said of Tampa Bay’s 2022 campaign. “You always want every year to end great. Unfortunately, in sports, it doesn’t work that way. There’s going to be 32 teams in the league, they’re all very competitive, and only one of them’s really going to feel great at the end of the year. … That’s why it feels good to be when you’re on top, when you win it all.”
This was Brady’s third season with the Buccaneers. He’s posted a 32-18 regular-season record with the club to go along with a 5-2 mark in the playoffs. Tampa Bay won Super Bowl LV over the Kansas City Chiefs in Brady’s first year with the team.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion and owner of virtually every major passing record in the NFL joined the Bucs following a remarkable 20-year stint with the New England Patriots. He’s scheduled to become a free agent for the second time in his career in March.
“We’re going to sit down and have a conversation, and we’ll talk about it,” Bowles said when asked about Brady’s chances of returning in 2023. “It’s not anything publicly that needs to be said.”
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