On February 1, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady retired. As time goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that he may have just retired from the Buccaneers.
Brady started it all. Six days after retiring (or whatever), Brady said, on his own podcast, “you never say never” and “I don’t know how I’m going to feel six months from now.” He has addressed the situation multiple times since then, recently adding more ambiguity and more than just finality when speaking with Fred Couples.
Along the way, I’ve developed a theory that Brady still wants to play for the 49ers, the team that didn’t want him two years ago. He grew up in the area. He attended The Catch game. He grew up supporting the San Francisco dynasty, a connection that ignited his passion for football and laid the foundation for his unprecedented success in the NFL. For a guy who has nothing else to accomplish, winning a Super Bowl with his favorite childhood team would be like putting whipped cream on top of the cherry on top of the icing on the cake.
Then came Saturday. We posted something last night/early this morning about Brady attending a Manchester United football game. The importance of his football career stems from the fact that the Glazer family owns both Manchester United and the Buccaneers, and the Glazers will ultimately decide whether Brady will be allowed to leave the Buccaneers despite having a one-year deal. , and under what conditions. Some (particularly Buccaneers fans who don’t want to see him play for any other team) scoffed.
Then came Sunday.
On Twitter, Brady posted four photos from Saturday’s outing and thanked the Glazers for taking in Brady and their two children. Taken in isolation, it doesn’t mean you can eventually thank them for your footballing freedom.
On Instagram, it’s a different story. Literally. His Instagram story, a reel of photos and videos posted by the user of the account, contains images from the day at Old Trafford. Near the end, there is a video of Brady and Cristiano Ronaldo interacting on the pitch after the game. Brady’s son Benny receives Ronaldo’s jersey. Then Brady gets a very light third degree from Ronaldo.
“Everything’s fine?” Ronaldo says. “You’re done, right?”
Brady’s reaction is revealing. What he says cannot be heard. How he says it cannot be ignored.
It was not a clear yes. He was not a bum yes. It wasn’t a yes at all. He had the opportunity to say, “Yes, I did” and he didn’t.
She then selected that specific interaction to post to an Instagram account that has 11.5 million followers.
It’s finished? The ultimate question, I still believe, is whether Brady can start over with another team. And the one team he certainly has in mind is the team that’s ready for the Super Bowl, especially if he were to add Tom Brady.
Tom Brady adds even more fuel to his retirement mystery originally appeared on Pro Football Talk