Brady not thinking about retirement, so time to speculate

Oct 20, 2022, 9:25 PM | Updated: Oct 21, 2022, 9:26 am
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) gives signals at the line of scrimmage during the f...

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) gives signals at the line of scrimmage during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

(AP Photo/Don Wright)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady says retirement isn’t in his future, so let the 2023 speculation begin.

Brady’s comment Thursday doesn’t mean he’s coming back for a 24th season but anything is possible for the 45-year-old, seven-time Super Bowl champion.

Right now, Brady is focused on trying to get the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) on the winning track after three losses in the last four games. Brady and the Bucs haven’t found a rhythm yet and he’s getting more attention for tossing tablets, chewing out teammates and attending a wedding.

But Brady isn’t quitting on the Bucs midseason — not that anyone thought he would.

“I love the sport and I love the teammates,” Brady said. “I want to go do a great job for this team like I always have. No retirement in my future.”

If Brady — who retired this past spring before changing his mind — decides to keep playing, he’ll be a free agent after the season.

Here are eight potential teams for No. 12 next year:

BUCCANEERS: Brady returned to Tampa Bay after a 40-day retirement because of “unfinished business” after winning a Super Bowl in his first season with the Buccaneers and falling short in the divisional round last season. So far, it’s been a struggle because his offensive line has been depleted by injuries and Ali Marpet’s retirement, receivers have been hurt and Rob Gronkowski retired. But it’s way too soon to write off the Buccaneers. They’re still the team to beat in the NFC South and should improve as players start returning from injuries. In 2020, the Buccaneers were 7-5 before running the table and winning the Super Bowl. Brady will want to play for a contender and Tampa Bay would seem to give him that opportunity, plus he’d have familiarity.

“I think everything’s unique,” Brady said. “Every year’s different. Every football season is a little bit different. There’s different challenges. We’ve just got to work hard. We’re certainly not a finished product. We’ve got to work hard to make the improvements we have to make, and that’s what going out to practice is all about, and having great communication with your teammates and trying to get things headed in a better direction.”

49ERS: Returning to the Bay Area and closing out his career playing for the team he grew up rooting for would be a storybook ending for Brady. Jimmy Garoppolo will be a free agent and inexperienced Trey Lance will be returning from injury and would certainly benefit learning from Brady for a year. The 49ers just added running back Christian McCaffrey and should be a contender, so they’re the top option outside Tampa.

DOLPHINS: Owner Stephen Ross was fined and suspended for tampering with Brady while he was with New England and Tampa. Miami also had discussions with Brady about becoming a partner in the team. Before sustaining a concussion, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was excellent during a 3-0 start. The Dolphins might not have the biggest need but they clearly wanted Brady enough to violate NFL rules already.

GIANTS: Rookie coach Brian Daboll has New York off to a 5-1 start and quarterback Daniel Jones has played well. But the former first-round pick will become a free agent after the season and the Giants may be in a position where they’re a QB away from contention. Enter Brady. He couldn’t beat them in the Super Bowl twice, so why not join them?

SAINTS: They wanted Deshaun Watson before re-signing Jameis Winston and adding Andy Dalton. The Saints have weapons at wide receiver but they have too many overall needs.

TITANS: Brady is close to Titans coach Mike Vrabel. Ryan Tannehill is owed $36.6 million in 2023 but Tennessee could save $17.8 million against the cap by trading or cutting him before next June 1. If Derrick Henry stays healthy, the Titans are attractive.

COMMANDERS: They would save $26 million by releasing Carson Wentz. Brady may be the only person who could save owner Dan Snyder and fill the seats in Washington.

PANTHERS: They’ll need a QB but even the GOAT can’t turn Carolina into a championship team.

___

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/robmaaddi

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Head coach Louis van Gaal of the Netherlands adjusts his audio device during Netherlands official p...
Associated Press

Van Gaal, 71 and revitalized, may take another coaching job

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Revitalized at the World Cup, Louis van Gaal might not be ready to call time on his coaching career just yet. The 71-year-old Van Gaal came out of retirement last year to take charge of the Netherlands for a third time and has led the team to the World Cup quarterfinals, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Qatar investigating death of worker at World Cup-linked site

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar is investigating the death of a migrant worker who reportedly was killed while doing repairs at a resort that had served as the Saudi team’s training base during the World Cup. Nasser Al Khater, the head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the World Cup, expressed his condolences to the family […]
1 day ago
Lionel Messi lleva la pelota durante la práctica de Argentina antes del partido ante Holanda por l...
Associated Press

Messi resumes World Cup quest as Argentina plays Netherlands

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi up against Virgil van Dijk. The youngest coach at the World Cup taking on the oldest. South America versus Europe. A back catalog of famous meetings. The quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands on Friday has all the ingredients of a classic. And the possibility of it being […]
1 day ago
Brazil's Vinicius Junior, Danilo and Neymar dance with Lucas Paqueta, right, after he scored his si...
Associated Press

Brazil wants to keep dancing against Croatia at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Brazil wants to keep the dancing going at the World Cup when it faces Croatia on Friday with a spot in the semifinals on the line. The Brazilians have made it clear they will not back from their goal celebrations in Qatar despite criticism by some. “It’s part of the Brazilian […]
1 day ago
FILE - WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted from a courtroom af...
Associated Press

A look at Brittney Griner’s career on, off basketball court

A timeline of key events in Brittney Griner’s career on and off the basketball court: Oct. 18, 1990: Brittney Griner was born in Houston. 2009: Led Nimitz High School to Texas 5A girls basketball state championship game where they lost. The 6-foot-7 star dunked 52 times as a senior, including seven times in one game […]
1 day ago
FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner sits during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's ...
Associated Press

WNBA star Griner freed in swap for Russian arms dealer Bout

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia freed WNBA star Brittney Grine r on Thursday in a high-profile prisoner exchange, as the U.S. released notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout but failed to win freedom for another American, Paul Whelan, who has been jailed for nearly four years. The deal, the second in eight months amid tensions over […]
1 day ago
Brady not thinking about retirement, so time to speculate