Major Update on Tom Brady's Future in the NFL

Tom Brady could be playing in his final NFL season. According to ESPN, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback remains noncommittal to playing beyond this year. This doesn't mean that Brady will retire as he could decide to play again. However, sources told ESPN that Brady playing next season is far from given. 

Brady, 44, reportedly plans to take a month or longer to figure out his future. He will assess how he feels physically and mentally while also talking to his family. Brady has one year reaming on his contract, and the decision could depend on how the season ends. If the Bucs, who play the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs today, win the Super Bowl, it's like Brady could walk away from the game. 

ESPN also reported that Brady is happy in Tampa, and the Bucs will welcome Brady if he decides to return. The team will reportedly talk to Brady about the future when the season concludes. ESPN says the "Bucs would be willing to bend over backward to entice Brady to continue playing." Throughout the season, Brady felt committed to returning in 2022 regardless of the outcome, because the team currently doesn't have a QB succession plan. But with the 2021 season being longer than normal, Brady is keeping all his options open. In April, the Bucs selected former University of Florida quarterback Kyle Trask in the second round of the NFL draft.

Brady has been in the NFL in 2000. At 44 years old, Brady is older than three of the head coaches of other teams that are playing in the NFC divisional playoff round  (Green Bay's Matt LaFleur is 42, San Francisco's Kyle Shanahan is 42 and the Los Angeles Rams' Sean McVay is 35). Along with the 10 Super Bowl appearances and seven Super Bowl wins, Brady is the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns. 

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"Wow, seems to be a really hot question lately," Brady said, in a team video posted in September.  "Can Tom Brady play 'til 50? Like, 50 years old? Fifty. I don't find it so difficult. Plus, in Florida, it's kind of a retiree state, so I feel like I can play and then just glide into retirement. I think I can. I think it's a yes."