While many thought the day would never come, most everyone assumed that Tom Brady had played his final snap in the NFL after he announced his retirement in February. The seven-time Super Bowl champion sent shockwaves throughout the sports landscape when he ended his retirement after a mere 40 days.
Joe Burrow, however, never bought the notion that Brady was actually retiring. Burrow's reasoning for not believing that Brady was hanging up his cleats was the fact that he is still playing at a high level despite turning 44 before the start of the 2021 season. Brady led the NFL in passing yards and touchdown passes last season while leading the Buccaneers to a 13-4 regular season record.
"Did anybody actually think he was going to be retired?" Burrow said on the "Full Send Podcast."
"You guys gotta know better than that. ... He's playing way too well to give it up right now."
Burrow has his own thoughts as to why Brady initially retired, only to un-retire less than two months later.
"I think he wanted to shut down the conversation," Burrow said. "If he didn't announce his retirement, everyone would be talking about, 'Is he retiring? Is he not retiring?' So, I think he went ahead and did it to get everyone off his back so he could go think about it."
The Bengals' 25-year-old quarterback was asked about Brady during his first media availability since February's Super Bowl. He was asked if he has talked with new Bengals offensive linemen and former Brady teammates Ted Karras and Alex Cappa about the five-time Super Bowl MVP.
"I try to take things here and there from different people, but I'm really focused on refining my routine and everything that I do to be the best me," Burrow said. "And I don't think I can take something that makes Tom Brady great that might not make Joe Burrow great."
Just before making his retirement announcement, Brady spoke with Burrow when Burrow was a guest on his podcast. The two exchanged compliments ahead of Burrow's first Super Bowl appearance.
"You've got a great future ahead," Brady said to Burrow. "There's a lot of football games left in your future, as there should be. We all get to watch you for a long time and really enjoy it. I wish you nothing but the best, as you know."
While they didn't know it at the time, Burrow and Brady will share a field together this season, when Cincinnati travels to Tampa on Dec. 18.