In his first campaign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady has demonstrated that he has plenty of football left in him. Brady has guided the Buccaneers back into the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. With all that in mind, the 43-year-old has already made up his mind about his playing status for the 2021 season.
Tom Brady’s impressive 2020 campaign
Tom Brady entered the 2020 season with the Buccaneers with the world of expectations around him.
There were expected struggles along the way, but Brady more than met those lofty aspirations with his production. The 43-year-old returned to being among the league’s most effective passers.
Brady anchored the Buccaneers’ high-octane offense behind finishing third with 4,633 passing yards, tied for second with 40 touchdown passes, and ninth with a 102.2 passer rating. His 40 touchdown passes put him alongside longtime rival Peyton Manning as the only players to reach that mark with two different franchises.
Ahead of his first postseason action with the Buccaneers, Brady has already decided on his fate for the 2021 campaign.
Tom Brady indicates his fate for the 2021 season
Although Tom Brady strung together an incredible 21st campaign, there are questions around his long-term future.
Brady is still playing at a high level and doesn’t look like he wants to step away from his craft any time soon. Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network voiced Saturday that the star quarterback plans to play the 2021 season.
“Tom Brady is going to be 44 by the start of next season,” Rapoport stated. “My understanding is that he does plan to play in the 2021 season. [He’s] got] a two-year contract and he plans to honor it. He is loving his time in Tampa Bay. He actually thinks it will be better next year with the Bucs.”
There may not have been any concern about Brady stepping away after this season. However, it at least will stop questions about his playing status that would have arisen during the upcoming offseason. The 43-year-old’s performance doesn’t give him any reason to believe his ability is on the decline.
The Buccaneers can now effectively move forward to further construct the roster around Brady. A second year in Bruce Arians’ offensive system should see more comfort and potentially greater offensive success.
The question now shifts toward the front office’s upcoming moves with the other pieces around Brady.
Buccaneers’ upcoming offseason moves
The Buccaneers will move forward next offseason with Tom Brady leading the charge offensively, but there is uncertainty with the pieces around him.
Tampa Bay has some prominent players that will need new contracts, such as Antonio Brown, Leonard Fournette, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski. These players have shown reason through their play to bring them back for at least another campaign.
Outside of Gronkowski, each of the other offensive talents has voiced an interest in extending their stay with the franchise. Brown’s strong connection with Brady will likely see him prefer a return back to the Buccaneers. However, his pending lawsuit could play a factor in the situation.
The 32-year-old has increasingly become a more significant part of the offense as the 2020 campaign rolled along. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have a strong interest in working out a long-term deal with Godwin, with who the team can place the franchise tag for the 2021 season.
Gronkowski will have his options and showed that he has the physical ability to extend his career at least another year. He has voiced throughout the 2020 season that his body feels refreshed after spending a year in retirement. The biggest question mark may come with Fournette, as Ronald Jones has proven he can handle the primary back role.
Ultimately, only time will tell what will unfold in the coming months in the offseason.