For 40 days in February and March, 2021 had been Tom Brady’s last year in football. Now that he’s back, he’ll be asked from time to time whether this is his last ride.
During his midweek press conference in advance of Sunday’s season opener against the Cowboys, Brady got that very question. Will this be his last year?
“I think we’re all getting one day older at a time,” Brady said. “We’re all not sure whether we’re going to be here next year or not, that’s the reality for every player, every coach, every parent. You just never know. We should all take advantage of the opportunity that we have, which is the one we have in front of us now.”
He’s technically right, but he deftly avoided the question. As he often does.
The truth is that he doesn’t want a farewell tour. He never wants it to be about him, but about the team. Even though the 2022 training camp ultimately was all about him, given his 11-day hiatus and the widespread scrutiny and confusion that it sparked. He was asked about the increased attention on his personal life, which has included reporting from the New York Post regarding marital discord over his ongoing football career.
“It’s been like that for a long time for me,” Brady said. “I know how to try to do my best and try to be a professional, show up every day and do my job the best way I can.”
Except the 11 days he didn’t show up. Which has created a nagging question as to whether at some point he may tap out again, during the season.
The reality with Brady, given the extreme longevity of his career, is that everything he does is without precedent. That makes it hard for anyone to know what’s coming next. Including Brady himself.