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If Tom Brady retires, he will fall into the rare category of athletes who left the game on top, not after their body failed them. With that always comes speculation of a possible return.
While it seems we are getting ahead of ourselves, since Brady has yet to announce his decision, Tony Romo is already discussing this possibility.
“I think sneakily, there’s a chance Tom Brady retires and could come back in two years,” Romo said on Friday’s CBS Morning. “This is just crazy, but he’s like a bionic man. He’s not hurt, he’s still playing great.”
This season likely took a toll on Brady. He had to keep a team motivated after a Super Bowl victory, this time without Bill Belichick. There’s a reason no team has won back-to-back Super Bowls since Brady and Belichick did it in 2015: it’s hard to keep motivated after winning a ring.
The Bucs were one of the most injured teams in the NFL this season. Then, Antonio Brown burned Brady — the guy who brought him to the team and supported him — with his deranged behavior and eventual walk-off in the middle of a game.
At the moment, Brady probably feels he doesn’t need this anymore. And he doesn’t. Yet after some time away, he will probably miss the drama, the frustration, and the challenge.
Brady could also experience boredom for the first time in his adult life. So Brady says if he does step away, it will be at the request of his family.
“My wife is my biggest supporter. It pains her to see me get hit out there. She deserves what she needs from me as a husband and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad,” Brady told Jim Gray this week. “We think we’re going to live forever, we’re not.”
The age of 44 is ancient in football years, though rather young for a full-time husband and father. Brady is obsessed with football, he is immersed in the process. Brady doesn’t have the personality for broadcasting, like Drew Brees, or the interest in running a team, like John Elway. He only knows playing football.
So maybe Brady does retire this offseason. Perhaps we will experience an NFL without Brady looming over the Super Bowl picture for the first time in two decades.
Though it may still not be the end.
“[Brady] may need to refresh like [Michael] Jordan and go two years away and maybe start another challenge,” Romo concludes.
Just like Jordan.