Tom Brady’s abrupt decision to retire this past offseason sent reverberations throughout the NFL. For years, the consensus greatest quarterback of all time suggested that he could play into his mid-to-late 40s. Then, suddenly – he was done.
The unexpected nature of Brady’s retirement has led to speculation that it will not last.
Quite simply, many around the NFL view this as a temporary move that will lead to Brady eventually returning and donning a different uniform sooner rather than later.
At the moment, two teams are widely viewed as the frontrunners for his future services.
This week, Bill Simmons of The Ringer broke down the options quite concisely.
My Tom Brady prediction for 2022 is…pic.twitter.com/1qV0K7wkDn
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) February 16, 2022
“Well, Kev, as the guy who’s been driving this Brady narrative really this whole year, and has been ahead of the game this whole time … I think there’s some sort of San Francisco, Miami thing,” Simmons said.
“Now, you could tell me it’s Miami ownership, he’s running the team, not playing… I think it’s either that, or he goes to the Niners for one year. And if I had to bet, I’d say it’s 60/40 Niners.”
This aligns with something that has previously been reported. There is a strong belief around the league that Brady will link up with his hometown 49ers for one last ride.
“(I) got a great email,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported a few weeks back. “I don’t know that the person wants his name to be shared, but it’s explaining what’s going on with Tom Brady. (It’s a) classic mid-life crisis. Step 1, a divorce from the Patriots. Step 2, a short-term relationship with a trophy girl … Buccaneers. Step 3, a late-night text to the high school sweetheart, a.k.a the 49ers.”
Florio described the scenario as ‘unavoidable.’
“I’m telling you, it’s unavoidable,” he said. “He’s not gonna lower himself to have to dirty himself the way Aaron Rodgers is. He’s gonna work it all behind the scenes. I just … I think he’s gonna be with the 49ers Week 1 (of the 2022 season).”
Brady obviously had a crazy 2021-22 NFL campaign. Between the conflicts with coaches and cheating allegations, it was one headache after another. Retirement after that much short-term chaos certainly makes sense.
That said, memories of all that nonsense will fade. And once they do, all that will remain is Brady’s competitive spirit.
These bachelorette party photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/Dil8nRrFE6
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 26, 2022
Last year, Brady had no plans to retire. Doing so in 2022 was a hasty decision. And hasty decisions are often regretted.
At this point, Brady’s return feels inevitable. And when it happens, he will likely link up with one of two teams – the 49ers or the Dolphins.