Early Thursday morning Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles announced that Tom Brady would be stepping away from the team to “deal with some personal things.”
Everyone involved tried to minimize this as much as possible, including some within the media.
Tom Brady is fine and the team is on board with his reasons for being absent. But it’ll be a little bit before he’s back. https://t.co/OkdVgjnRJa
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 11, 2022
That said, it would soon become apparent that this wasn’t an isolated incident. In fact, Brady has reportedly been “miserable” at Buccaneers’ practices and all signs are pointing to there being something more here than what initially meets the eye.
This week, NFL insider Ben Volin appeared on Colin Cowherd’s show. There, Cowherd asked him a simple question.
“Do you think Tom Brady is committed to the Bucs?” the host openly wondered.
Volin’s answer was illuminating.
“I do wonder where his head is at right now… He was so good at 44, there is no doubt in our minds that if Brady is fully committed he can have a terrific season at 45, but there are definitely signs that his head is not fully into it,” Volin replied.
“I try not to be the body language police, but I was at Bucs practice yesterday and he looked miserable. I don’t think he loves the humidity in Tampa; it is very swampy out here every morning,” he continued.
“[Brady’s] buddy Gronk has retired, that’s his running mate, that’s his guy, and now he looks all over the field and he’s throwing to Kyle Rudolph, Chris Godwin is banged up and we’re not sure when he’s going to be himself again. Brady’s center [Ryan Jensen] goes down.
“There are just a lot of things going on with the team, and we also know playing with the Bucs was not his number one wish this year. If he got his way he would be running the Dolphins, and the only reason he went back the Bucs was because he really had no other options.
“He had an excused absence last week around his birthday and the local reporters down here were holding their breath, they thought this was it and that Tom Brady had had a change of heart, and that he was going to retire.
“Now Todd Bowles announces that Tom Brady was not at practice, and he’s gone through next week, through the second preseason game, and gone another 10 days, so I definitely question where his head is at.”
Volin made it clear that, although he didn’t know what the issue was – there definitely appeared to be some sort of issue.
“It might be related to a health thing, whether it’s related to his parents or a family member,” Volin added. “If that’s the case then certainly it’s going to be a distraction also, so it does seem like Brady is not 100% focused on football.”
It’s worth remembering, we are fresh off an offseason that saw Brady retire and unretire within the span of a few months. That’s not normal behavior. And although the real reason why he did it came out eventually, it does speak to a general dissatisfaction with the Buccaneers.
In the end, maybe Paige Spiranac’s harsh response to Brady’s weird decision-making over the last few months was warranted.
People within Brady’s camp and the Bucs’ organization can try to sweep this week’s developments under the rug as much as they want.
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 11, 2022
There is a problem here.
Where there is smoke, there is fire. How bad will it get?
Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.