What does Tom Brady's lengthy IG message tell us about QB's future?


Tom Brady has spoken. But it's probably not quite the message you're looking for.

Brady's 22nd NFL season ended abruptly Sunday when his Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Round, prompting speculation about whether he'll return for a 23rd season at age 45 or call it quits on a legendary career.

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Brady himself added to that speculation Monday with a noncommittal answer to Jim Gray on his "Let's Go!" podcast. On Tuesday, he took to Instagram to share a similarly vague message.

Here's Brady's caption in full:

"I understand that at this stage in my career, there is going to be interest in my future whenever a season ends, but this week, all that is on my mind is the gratitude I have for this team and the fans that have supported us all year long. This year has been incredibly rewarding personally and professionally and I am appreciative of everyone who worked their ass off to help our team achieve so much.

"I always want to win, I think that’s pretty apparent by now, but that doesn’t mean I equate losing to failure, especially when you go out fighting the way we did.. There’s so much to appreciate in a season like this when you’re surrounded by a team that believes in each other, and plays for the people standing on either side of them. I’ll spare you the Man in the Arena quote, but that feeling is something that I promise I’ll never take for granted. To everyone that was a part of it this year, thank you. I love you all!"

Long story short: Brady doesn't know whether he plans to retire or keep playing, and if even if he did, he's not ready to tell us.

The 44-year-old quarterback seemed to enjoy his experience with the 2021 Bucs despite the end result, however. Brady is a frontrunner for the NFL MVP award after delivering one of the best statistical seasons of his career, and he's shown zero signs of physical decline since leaving the New England Patriots in 2020 to revive his career in Tampa Bay.

If Brady decides to call it quits, it will likely be to spend more time with his family, not because he can't play at a high level anymore. But it sounds like we'll have to wait a bit for the GOAT to make up his mind.

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