Tom Brady belongs to a special breed of athletes who stand as the face of their respective sports. He combined his incredible vision and throwing ability with his competitive drive to win a record seven Super Bowl wins for two franchises.
He was supposed to call it quits last season after a Hall Of Fame career. However, he returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to cement his status as the GOAT with an eighth Super Bowl title.
However, the Bucs fell short in the NFC Wild Card round to the Dallas Cowboys. Again, questions surrounding Brady’s future came to light. OKBET players who are avid American football fans wondered what Tom Brady’s next moves would be.
This article will piece together what happened throughout Brady’s 23rd NFL season. We’ll also talk about his possible destination in the coming off-season.
Tom Brady began 2022 with a decent playoff in the NFC that ended with a Division round exit to the Los Angeles Rams, who eventually went on to win Super Bowl LVI. The then-42-year-old quarterback stunned the world when he announced that he was hanging up his cleats.
His retirement created a myriad of reactions from players and fans. Some cried about his exit, while others celebrated that he was finally leaving the game. However, it only took forty days before the GOAT returned for one more NFL season.
The reactions to his return are just as sensational as his retirement. Unfortunately, his marriage took a hit as Gisele Bundchen was unhappy with his decision to renege on his promise to focus on their children. Their relationship quickly broke down, with their divorce finalized in October.
He found solace on the football field as his home irreparably changed, and the Bucs were more than happy to welcome him back. They immediately re-armed the team to make an even deeper playoff run.
Tampa Bay signed Russell Gage from the Atlanta Falcons to give Brady more targets. They also acquired Fred Johnson and Shaq Mason to boost the offensive line. They also franchise-tagged Chris Godwin before signing him on for three years.
The most important off-season acquisition for the Bucs was Julio Jones. The future Hall of Fame wideout was signed for $8 million and was expected to use his speed and length to cause chaos among opposing secondaries.
Tampa Bay fans had every reason to believe they were up for another Super Bowl run after Week 2. They beat the Dallas Cowboys by a comfortable margin in the season opener. Meanwhile, the offense showcased their clutch gene against the New Orleans Saints to win their second game, 20-10.
However, the Bucs would be hit by the inconsistency that would soon dictate their 2022 campaign. Brady narrowly lost to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Week 3. Patrick Mahomes also showed him why he’s now the face of the league after the Kansas City Chiefs battered them to the tune of 41-31.
The remaining games before the bye week saw the Bucs split the remaining games. They lost against upstarts like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers but also won against the struggling Rams. They entered Week 11 with a 5-5 record.
The bye week allowed the Bucs to regroup and sort out their deficiencies. However, the team came out of the gates with a shocking loss to the Cleveland Browns. The offense’s inability to convert touchdowns continued to bother them throughout the second half of their season.
From Weeks 12 through 18, the Buccaneers only had positive offensive points twice. Fortunately, their overtime win against the Arizona Cardinals and Week 17 triumph against the Carolina Panthers saw them sneak into the top of the NFC South and head into the Wild Card round.
The Buccaneers’ 2022 season ended at the hands of the Cowboys, 14-31. The offense continued misfiring while the defense couldn’t stop Dak Prescott from finding his targets.
Tom Brady showed throughout the season that he was still a force to be reckoned with in the pocket. The 45-year-old finished the season with 4694 passing yards, 25 TDs, and nine interceptions. He had a respectable 67% completion rate and 9.8 yards per pass completion.
One can argue that the Bucs were the ones who let Brady down. Jones was a non-factor in Todd Bowles’ scheme as he finished the year with 299 receiving yards, two receiving TDs, and 45 rushing yards. Meanwhile, the Bucs’ receiving core of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin carried the offensive load with 1124 and 1023 receiving yards, respectively.
Unfortunately, the Bucs’ running game couldn’t distract opposing linebackers this year. Leonard Fournette wasn’t a completely effective RB1 option. He only averaged 3.5 yards per carry and completed three rushing touchdowns over the Buccaneers’ 2022 campaign.
The Buccaneers’ defense did well, considering the circumstances. They were the tenth-most effective passing defense, only allowing 3461 passing yards. Unfortunately, their red-zone defense needed work after allowing 29 passing TDs. Fortunately, their run defense was solid, as they only allowed 12 rushing TDs.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hope Brady stays for the 2023 season should he still decide to keep playing professionally. However, the team’s disappointing exit in the Wild Card round may push him away instead of keeping him there.
The Bucs would have to do plenty of convincing to keep TB12 in Tampa. However, even the man in question is taking his time regarding his next steps. What makes Brady’s situation interesting is the number of options the multiple-time Super Bowl winner has moving forward.
The question on everyone’s minds: what will Tom Brady do next?
Though very unlikely, Brady can stick with the Bucs for one more season and try to win there. He showed everyone that he’s still one of the best quarterbacks in the game. A comprehensive rehash of the roster can help him make the Super Bowl next year.
However, making the Bucs roster competitive again is a tough ask. There are plenty of free agents within the team, and some might not re-sign. Even if the Bucs could improve their roster, there’s no assurance they could recreate their Super Bowl LV run with Brady in the pocket.
There’s a huge possibility that Brady won’t return to the Bucs if he feels there’s a better chance of making the Super Bowl with another team. While there are few destinations for a player of Brady’s caliber, the Las Vegas Raiders have the team TB12 needs to get them into the Super Bowl.
The Raiders badly need quarterback help as the AFC West is one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL. They finished the season with a 6-11 record, and it’s clear to everyone that Derek Carr isn’t the man who’ll take them to the Super Bowl.
The Raiders have the biggest odds of signing Brady, and they have the roster he needs to add another Super Bowl ring to his collection. Whether TB12 does that is another question altogether.
Brady signed a massive ten-year deal with FOX Sports to become a star analyst when he first announced his retirement. His introduction to the FOX Sports media room had to take a step back when he decided to return for another season.
The American broadcasting giant is ready to welcome Brady back with open arms. After all, having one of the best footballing minds run their football programs will attract plenty of eyes to their program. However, they won’t be tapping him for the Super Bowl.
The last couple of seasons has been tough on Brady. Even his fiercest supporters have to cede that he’s no longer the quarterback that can force a team of veterans and misfits to the Super Bowl. While he’s still a terrific quarterback, he’s no longer the game-defining player who dominated the NFL in the past two decades.
Moreover, his divorce will also impact how he looks back at this season. Nobody knows how his uncoupling affects him. However, it’s clear to fans and other players that he should be with his kids right now.
He might leave a lot of money on the table by not signing with another team or working for FOX, but he deserves a break. He can spend the next twelve months focusing on himself and his children before joining the FOX Sports room.
Whatever Tom Brady decides to do after the Super Bowl, no one can take away from his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks to play the game. Very few people can replicate his vision, technique, and competitive fire over a long time.
Tampa Bay wishes he stays for one more season. Las Vegas hopes the bright lights and their strong roster can convince him to try it out with them. FOX Sports will be eager to have him on their sports broadcasting roster.
Wherever TB12 heads from this point on, players and fans will be wishing him the best.