Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. That's not up for debate. He's retired now ... again and actually turned in his retirement papers this time. But suggesting he's 100 percent done with his legendary NFL career is silly, especially when he came out of retirement less than a year ago, in March 2022.
We're more than a month away from it being a year since Brady's shocking decision to return to the National Football League. Yeah, he told us he screwed up the first time and he's not taking that for granted.
But come on. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on Tom. The reality is (and this is reason No. 1 why Brady isn't done) Tom is a full 1.5 months away from it being a year since his initial unretirement. He knows how much time he has to change course, emphasized even more by the fact he's a free agent now.
So here are five more (mostly) clear examples/reasons/whatever you want to call them as to why Brady just might not be done with the NFL and playing football and chasing championships.
Posing in his underwear
Let's start with the awkward/stupid/kind of obvious one: Brady posing in underwear in a hotel. Does a shirtless underwear photo make you think "this guy wants to play football?" It should! It's begging for attention, it's literally promoting his own brand and he's flexing his physical condition as a free agent who can be signed by any team. Am I reaching here? You better believe it, but the guy could have posted that picture anytime within the last year after he hit 40k likes and he chose right now in the middle of his second retirement. He's not just trying to sell everyone comfortable underwear.
Next up is another obvious one -- his podcast. I've never been a huge part of a podcast (check out Will Brinson hosting the Pick Six Podcast here), but if I was, I'd be stunned to have my buttons pushed by the host of MY OWN PODCAST. Yet Tom Brady is out here letting Jim Gray say he's just mentally/emotionally done, challenging his ability to play football at his age (despite literally saying he's physically fine to keep going). Brady is self-subjecting to humiliation from a good friend during Super Bowl week. It's a blatant subconscious (assuming you want to give him credit for it not being on purpose) attempt to let teams know he's still ready to go to battle if there's interest.
Moving on: Brady has openly discussed his divorce. Do you think he wants to hang it up now after fighting for almost a decade to keep playing with his significant other? He's just going to settle down and co-parent? If he wants to do that, good for him. It's way more likely he'd love to find a landing spot where he can legitimately chase another Super Bowl victory. Especially when ...
The biggest reason of all looms large out there. Patrick Mahomes. You've seen the graphics on CBS Sports HQ, even maybe on ESPN. Mahomes could win his second Super Bowl, second MVP and second Super Bowl MVP at the age of 27. He's all over Brady for GOAT status if he wins on Sunday.
Brady's options and current abilities
Thomas Edward Patrick Brady retired the first time believing he was the greatest to ever do it and no one could ever come close. He came back and fell short. Now suddenly his reign might be challenged and you think, with all his freedom -- personally and professionally -- he's just going to walk away when he can still lead the league in passing attempts and passing yards, and when there are multiple contending teams -- 49ers and Raiders are obvious examples -- who would desire his services and give him legitimate shots at winning another title?
It's just another reason why he's probably not done with football, or at least hasn't shut the door. The NFL is Tom Brady's siren song and he won't stop hearing it until he's absolutely forced to walk away.
When we kick off the 2023 NFL season and Tom Brady is still retired is when I'll believe Tom Brady is actually retired. Tom probably believes the same thing too.