Insider ‘can’t see’ Buccaneers’ Tom Brady playing beyond 2022 NFL season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady endured as unique an offseason as he’s ever experienced, one that’s still managing to deliver plenty of questions just days before the 45-year-old and his teammates will open the regular season at the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday evening. 

Brady temporarily retired during the winter before he returned to the Buccaneers’ active roster in March, but the seven-time Super Bowl champion then admitted during the spring that he realizes he doesn’t “have a lot left” and is “at the end of my career.” 

It was later learned that Brady agreed to join Fox Sports as their lead NFL analyst whenever he calls time on his playing days via a deal reportedly worth $375 million over 10 years. Brady’s commitment to chasing a historic eighth Super Bowl ring was then doubted by fans and analysts, alike, when he took an 11-day break away from the Buccaneers last month during the preseason due to unspecified “personal reasons” that allegedly may be related to the fact that Gisele Bündchen, his wife, “wasn’t thrilled” that her husband decided to keep playing. 

For a piece published Thursday morning, ESPN’s Seth Wickersham explained why he “can’t see” Brady playing beyond the upcoming season. 

“Since late last season, he’s seemed like a man who’s tired of being pulled in so many directions, even if he created it all,” Wickersham said of Brady. “It’s very understandable, and relatable for any driven person in their mid-40s, but still points to his life, as it is, being unsustainable. For years, Brady has talked about the widening gap in his life, between the requirements of how he approaches and plays the game and how he serves as a parent, husband, son, friend and businessman, so much that the gap has come to define him as much as anything else.

“It widens each year, and after this season, the game will be the thing that finally gives out.” 

Brady entered last January’s playoffs as a legitimate Most Valuable Player candidate who led the entire league for the regular season with 485 completions for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns. One wonders if the “G.O.A.T.” will ride off into the sunset by Super Bowl LVII in February if he physically cannot produce similar numbers across the 2022 campaign. 

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