Tom Brady retired from the NFL for the second consecutive season. This time, Brady says it’s for good.
The New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback came back from retirement after 40 days last year in one of the most surprising stories of the offseason. Could Brady pull off another stunner and return to the NFL for his 24th season?
Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht highly doubts Brady would come back again, but won’t rule out the possibility, either.
“Pretty much, yeah,” Licht said with a laugh at the NFL Scouting Combine Tuesday. “I said I’d leave a desk lamp on before. Last year, I said I’d leave the light on. Maybe it’s a flashlight [this year], I don’t know.”
Brady does appear content with his decision, especially coming off a season which he finished with the first losing record (8-9) in his 23 seasons. Brady completed 66.8% of his passes for 4,694 yards with 25 touchdowns to nine interceptions for a 90.7 passer rating. He led the NFL in completions (490) and attempts (733) for the second consecutive season, but the 6.4 yards per attempt were his lowest in a season since 2002.
“I think he’s gotten his mind set [on retirement],” Licht said. “I think he is happy with his decision and we’re happy for him.”
The Buccaneers may not be expecting Brady to return, but they also have one of his backups in Kyle Trask on the roster. While Tampa Bay has not committed toward Trask being the starter, Licht admitted he’s going to get the opportunity to earn the job.
“He can throw the ball very well,” Licht said. “He’s changed his body a little bit with just being in the NFL with our strength and conditioning staff to where he looks more athletic than he did, to me, than he did in college. He can get out of trouble in the pocket.
“He’s accurate, he’s smart, he works hard — he’s got all the traits that you’re looking for in a quarterback.”
Trask is the only quarterback on the Buccaneers roster, so Tampa Bay will bring in competition for him. How the Buccaneers tackle free agency at quarterback will be worth monitoring in the coming weeks.
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