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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Tom Brady attends the Manchester United match, and everything that possibly implies

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Retired for now, quarterback Tom Brady made headlines on Saturday while attending Manchester United’s game against Tottenham Hotspur.

That headline could just be another piece of a puzzle that eventually and inevitably leads to a much more meaningful headline.

Manchester United is owned by the same family that owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since we mentioned a time of two while pushing the idea that Brady will eventually try to find a graceful exit from the year remaining on his contract with Tampa Bay, Bucs coach Bruce Arians’ public stance means nothing. The decisions made by the ownership of the team will suppose everything.

Brady’s power play (if he’s going to make one) will require a personal appeal to the Glazers. His case is simple. He originally signed a two-year contract. His one-year extension from 2021 was intended to create salary-cap space. He didn’t get a big raise (he deserved it) after winning a Super Bowl, and he didn’t get a lot of new money on the premise of playing for the Bucs until 2022. He took most of his salary from him. as collateral. payment, to make it easier to keep a champion team together.

His obligation to the Bucs, as a practical matter, is over. Whether that means releasing him this week with a post-June 1 designation (thereby avoiding a $32 million salary-cap charge) or agreeing to trade him effective June 1, Brady can make a strong case for the Glazers to that they can move on.

There have been no reports (yet) that he spoke to the Glazers or that he or his representatives have started pushing to implement what, in my opinion, was not a retirement from football but a retirement from his current football team.

This is just another piece of evidence. Another breadcrumb on a path that could lead Brady back to San Francisco and the short-term gig with the 49ers, two years after he wanted to join the 49ers but the 49ers refused.

This time, surely they would not. There’s reason to believe Trey Lance isn’t ready. There’s reason to believe the team is ready to put Jimmy Garoppolo behind them. There’s reason to believe that Brady, who presumably has nothing left to accomplish, would like to chase an eighth Super Bowl victory while he plays for the team he followed when he grew up.

Brady has accomplished enough in the NFL in general and specifically for the Buccaneers that he shouldn’t have to make public demands. He shouldn’t have to get his hands dirty. This is not how he always operates.

Brady has shown a knack for getting what he wants. I think he wants to continue playing football in a different team. The key to that outcome is not in the hands of Arians or general manager Jason Licht or anyone other than the family that owns both the Buccaneers and the soccer club Brady watched play Saturday.

Rewind to last Sunday. Think about the crazy things that have happened in the last seven days. Brady securing a Bucs exit could be the next crazy thing to happen, even though it would be a lot more plausible than a couple of things that happened this week would have seemed if someone had predicted them a week ago.

Tom Brady attends Manchester United game, and everything it possibly involves originally appeared on Pro Football Talk

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