Is he planning on retiring? Or is the future Hall of Fame quarterback running it back with Tampa Bay in 2022.
Before this year’s season, the expectation was that Brady would be sticking around for the 2022 season. However, due to some recent reports and ominous post-game comments, that outcome doesn’t appear as likely anymore. Brady retiring this offseason feels like a legitimate possibility.
Tom Brady completely transformed the Buccaneers
Before getting to the latest comments about Brady from one of his teammates, it’s essential to acknowledge how drastic of an impact he’s had on the Buccaneers organization since arriving.
Tampa Bay was in NFL purgatory before Brady’s arrival. It was messing around with Jameis Winson at quarterback and hadn’t won a playoff game since 2002. The Buccaneers were a laughing stock in the NFC South, and few envisioned them working out of it anytime soon.
However, once Brady arrived, everything changed. He implemented a strict culture based around winning and team success, and recruited multiple high-profile free agents like Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, and Antonio Brown. Without this influx of elite talent, it’s hard to imagine the Bucs winning the Super Bowl last year.
Even despite their recent loss to the Rams, the Buccaneers are still one of the few elite teams in the NFL at the moment — thanks to Brady’s intense changes he implemented over the past two seasons.
However, if Brady hangs up the cleats this offseason, concerns about that culture persisting would obviously pop up. At least one current Bucs player has already voiced such a concern.
Ali Marpet is worried about the Bucs’ culture if Tom Brady leaves
Following the Divisional Round, Buccaneers starting left guard Ali Marpet was asked about Brady’s impact on the team’s culture. His response was eye-opening.
“Tom’s special,” Marpet said. “For the guys that stick around, hopefully we can carry some of that approach, those lessons, the way he handles himself moving forward and can continue to play at a high level.”
Right off the bat, Marpet doesn’t sound like someone who is overly confident in Brady returning. This makes his comments about culture hit that much harder.
All the things Marpet mentions, the way Brady carries himself, and all of his lessons, are things the Bucs will have to operate without in 2022 (if he does retie).
Can the Buccaneers survive without TB12?
Without Tom running the ship, it’s honestly pretty hard to imagine the Bucs persisting as a contender in 2022.
For as much credit as coaches Bruce Arians, Todd Bowles, and Byron Leftwich deserve, the Buccaneers were not a good football team before Brady’s arrival. If he leaves, they will very likely plummet back into irrelevancy.
Not only would the Bucs be missing their star QB, but they’d be missing the guy who implemented such a strong and powerful locker room culture. That’s a recipe for disaster.