Those close to Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady anticipate the seven-time Super Bowl champion will announce his retirement from the NFL in the near future, CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported Friday. As of now, the 44-year-old reigning Super Bowl MVP has yet to make a formal announcement about his future.
Brady has also not yet officially informed Tampa Bay of his plans for 2022 and beyond, according to his agent, Don Yee, his father, Tom Brady Sr., and Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians. All three men provided statements to various media members amid Saturday reports from ESPN and NFL Network that indicated Brady had decided to retire after 22 seasons in the league.
Teammates and close associates of Brady "remain convinced that the all-time great is preparing to retire from the game," La Canfora reported Friday, "with a formal announcement expected shortly. ... [Those peers] believe [Brady] went into this postseason knowing it would be his final run, no matter the outcome in the playoffs. ... Within the Bucs organization, sources said, there has been a growing sense that the team will end up in the market for a new starting quarterback next season."
ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington took it a step further Saturday, reporting that Brady is retiring amid family and health reasons and "believes this is the right moment to end his playing career." NFL Media quickly followed suit, echoing the report. Teammates past and present soon chimed in on social media, paying their respects to Brady's 22-year career.
But Yee and Brady Sr. have since denied that the QB has decided to hang up his cleats.
"This story ... is total conjecture," Brady's father told NFL Media's Mike Giardi. "Tommy has not made a final decision one way or another, and anybody else that says that he has is absolutely wrong." Brady Sr. also told KRON-TV that his son is not retiring.
Meanwhile, Brady reportedly contacted Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht to confirm he's yet to make a final decision on his future, according to Bally Sports' Mike Silver. Arians confirmed as much Saturday, telling ESPN's Jenna Laine that Brady is "not even close to making up his mind yet" and shared that sentiment with Tampa Bay.
Brady's TB12 Sports company has backtracked on the QB's status as well. The company's official Twitter account posted a salute to Brady earlier in the day, listing his career achievements as a nod to his retirement, but has since deleted the post.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport stood by reporting on Brady's decision later in the day, reiterating that Brady "does plan to retire" and calling the denials of earlier reports "an issue of timing more than anything."
Essentially, those close to the QB remain convinced he will call it a career, even if the QB's camp hasn't finalized a formal announcement.