Just when we thought we were out, we’ve been pulled back into the Tom Brady rumor mill.
Like Thanos, it seems that rumors of a Tom Brady return are inevitable and we are doomed as s society to forever get sucked into them. Officially, Brady is retired since he filed papers with the NFL back in February following his announcement on social media.
Of course, we’ve been fooled by a Brady retirement in the past.
Back in 2022, Brady retired around the same time he did this year only to renege and decide to return for one more season. As it turns out he should have stayed retired; his final season with the Buccaneers turned into the only losing season of his career, despite still making the playoffs as a 8-9 division winner.
There were rumors of a potential return in the immediate aftermath of his retirement, with the infamous Dolphins rumors popping back up as well as a link to both the Raiders and 49ers, but nothing has come of any of that.
Now we are being teased with talk of a potential return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as training camp looms.
Could Tom Brady still return to Buccaneers in 2023?
Antoine Winfield Jr went on The Richard Sherman Podcast and the two talked about a potential return for Tom Brady this season. Sherman said what we’ve all been thinking since February, noting that he wouldn’t put anything past Brady given the decisions he’s made in the past.
While he didn’t confirm that the Bucs are talking with Brady, Winfield didn’t Do much to outright deny it.
“It’s up in the air, man,” Winfield said, via JoeBucsFan.
To be clear, it doesn’t sound like Winfield has any inside information about whether the front office is talking with Brady or not. Just because he’s in the locker room doesn’t mean he’s in the know about things as high level as this.
Then again, being so close to the situation hasn’t stopped Winfield from speculating about what could happen.
“I’m sure we’re still reaching out to him trying to see if he’s trying to come back to the team,” Winfield said. “Hey, it could happen. Anything’s possible.”
Brady immedietly became the best quarterback in Buccaneers history when he signed back in 2020, but he backed it up by doing more than just bringing his accolades with him. Tampa Bay won its second Super Bowl in Brady’s first season and he nearly won an MVP trophy the following season.
What happened last year has soured how good those first two years tasted, though, and casts a pall the idea of Brady returning — again. That being said, it’s hard to see anyone saying ‘no’ if Brady wanted to return, however the team isn’t contstructed the same way it was before.
There’s also the money aspect, as the Bucs spent this entire offseason taking their medicine and paying the bill of chasing a Super Bowl the last three seasons. Brady returning would be an exciting idea in theory, but in reality it would be tricky.
All of this is assuming he even wants to come back . Sherman and Winfield aren’t reporting any hard news, they’re just talking. There’s currency in that but it’s hard to see it having any actual value beyond wishful thinking.
Then again, until Week 1 arrives and Tom Brady isn’t on the field, anything is possible.