Evan Closky noted pretty early on in the Tom Brady retirement saga that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback never actually used the word, ‘retire’.
Now, it was done with a note of humor to it, but if every joke has a hint of truth in it, perhaps that one was closer to reality than we first gave credit. Especially after an early morning tweet sent out Sunday by NFL insider, Ian Rapoport.
Despite Tom Brady’s retirement announcement, the #Bucs aren’t giving up hope that he’ll return and play in 2022. And Brady hasn’t shut the door completely, either, publicly or privately.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 13, 2022
A look at Tampa Bay’s QB situation from me and @TomPelissero: https://t.co/JJzYOa2Mri
“While people close to Brady consider the chances of that happening to be remote, the Bucs have made clear to Brady they’d be willing to do what it takes,” the duo state in their report. “As they have since they originally recruited him to Tampa two years ago.”
In the meantime, as expected, the Buccaneers are pursuing every possible option for replacing the legendary quarterback. Checking to see what’s behind door No. 2 as head coach Bruce Arians put it.
It’s hard to predict exactly what Brady would want in order to return to the team, but securing the future services of wide receiver Chris Godwin would be a solid start.
Of course, Brady wouldn’t be the only one happy if Godwin returned.
“We need (Godwin) bad, man,” wide receiver Mike Evans recently said on NFL Network. “He’s one of the best to do it in the game...ultimate teammate, one of my favorites that I’ve ever played with. I hope (and) I’m praying that we get him back.”
There’s a lot riding on this offseason, and a lot of key player futures are up in the air.
With the majority of the coaching staff appearing to be set to return following the breakdown in job opportunities for coordinators Todd Bowles and Byron Leftwich, those around the Buccaneers are holding out hope the main parts of the band return.
While the rest brace for what may be a whole new act, debuting in 2022.