One of the worst aspects of Brady’s 2023 retirement was that it was so innocuous. If he left the sport with a shiny new Super Bowl ring it would have been amazing. He effectively completed the sport at that point but he couldn’t bring himself to walk away. He played for another two seasons with successive declines.
It appeared that he didn’t even have a sad expression on his face as he walked off after the Cowboys smashed the Bucs. It appeared that he had already clocked out and didn’t care anymore. That’s a shame because the younger Brady would have been desperate to avenge this loss. But the fighting spirit had already dissipated (via People).
Bruce Arians explicitly told the Tampa Bay Times that he wouldn’t have quit if Brady stayed retired. “Had Tom not come back, I probably would still be coaching. I couldn’t give Todd that situation,” Arians said (via CBS Sports). Arians believed that he was doing his former coordinator a favor by leaving him with the veteran quarterback.
However, there were questions about Bowles’ future after a dismal postseason campaign. He may have received more sympathy from the fans and media if he had Blaine Gabbert as his starter. But he had to put Brady on the team and the two didn’t gel well together. Brady should have retired earlier and allowed the team to regroup.
Brady wasn’t garbage in 2022, but he wasn’t his usual brilliant self either. However, it didn’t help that he lost some important weapons from his Tampa Bay Super Bowl win. Rob Gronkowski retired again and left a gaping hole on the field. He was also one of Brady’s closest friends so it was a blow for him to leave the locker room (via Code Sports).
Mike Evans is an elite player but there was too much pressure on his shoulders. Antonio Brown, for all of his personal flaws, was also a big loss. It became increasingly difficult for Brady to find his targets because they weren’t there. Meanwhile, he wasn’t operating at the same level as before. These two issues combined to create a bigger problem for the team.
Everybody knows that Brady endured a lot of personal problems before the 2022 season. His former wife Gisele Bundchen filed for divorce and took their children with her. The Brazilian supermodel couldn’t believe that he was signing up for another year on the field. It meant that he had to adapt to life without his family around him.
This meant that Brady experienced life events without his children for the first time since he became a father. Check out what he said about celebrating the holidays (via Sportsrush). Brady revealed: “I’m gonna learn how to deal with Christmas Eve in a hotel, and I’m gonna have to learn how to deal with Christmas and Christmas night and still go out there and be a professional.”
One of the reasons why Brady should have retired earlier was because it put the Bucs in a tricky position. If Brady was at the peak of his powers nobody would question his position at the franchise. But some people doubted his mentality and his physical abilities. However, he hamstrung Todd Bowles who put his succession plan on hold.
If Brady quit a year earlier, Tampa might have a better replacement. There was more chance of them trading for somebody like Aaron Rodgers or getting Russell Wilson as a free agent. However, there is a limited market in 2022 and their draft options aren’t great. It will be a lost year for the franchise as they bide their time.
There is some speculation that Brady jumped the gun when he rescinded his first retirement. Many analysts think that he thought he was going to join the Miami Dolphins. Everybody knows that the Dolphins didn’t have much faith in Tua Tagovailoa. They considered trading for controversial star Deshaun Watson but also pursued Brady.
In the end, this never materialized and Brady continued to play for the Buccaneers. In a way, it’s better that Brady didn’t line up for a third franchise. But he should have retired after he won his seventh ring. He has a good relationship with Mike McDaniel but there’s no guarantee it would have worked (via New York Post).
Everybody loves a winner and there’s no doubt that Brady is one. But fans have short memories and bad news sells quickly. There are already morons saying that Brady was the NFL’s luckiest-ever player. This is a garbage take because he demonstrated unbelievable consistency to stay competitive for 23 years.
Nonetheless, he should have retired earlier so that he could walk away as a winner. Nobody wanted to see him crash out to the Cowboys in the Wild Card round. It didn’t help that Dallas had a horrific defeat the following week. Brady had a golden opportunity to bow out gracefully but he didn’t take it (via Stylecaster).
Another issue is that the NFL is constantly evolving. Amazingly, Brady’s style has transcended multiple generations of quarterbacks. However, there is an increasing tendency for franchises to turn to dual-threat QBs. The likes of Lamar Jackson and even Daniel Jones have good arms but offer an elite rushing threat.
One of the reasons why Brady never lost a step is because he didn’t have the pace, to begin with. But his lack of mobility means that he’s inclined to throw more interceptions. That’s because the 45-year-old veteran didn’t want to endure hard sacks. Nobody can blame him but it didn’t help Tampa on the field (via CBS Sports).
Many aging sports stars play past their prime because they want to make one last payday. Philip Rivers left the Chargers in 2019 and joined the Colts because they gave him a guaranteed $20 million. Nobody can blame athletes for doing this, even if they’re not in their best condition. But Brady isn’t in this position because he has a decade of employment ahead.
FOX Sports signed Brady to a 10-year contract worth $35 million per year after he retires. Brady will remain a regular feature on TV screens after his retirement. He should have retired earlier and enjoyed one of the cushiest TV deals ever. It’s bizarre that he put himself through the blender of professional football again (via New York Post).
There was a lack of dignity in Brady’s final season because he suffered losses that he wouldn’t have earlier in his career. Fans witnessed a horrible defeat against the shambolic Panthers. Carolina shuffled quarterbacks and fired their coach in a wasted season. Somehow, Brady’s team contrived to lose to them.
Meanwhile, many fans couldn’t believe that he lost a duel with 2022’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant,’ San Francisco rookie Brock Purdy. This aged better than everybody expected because Purdy proved he was a good player, but it was embarrassing at the time. Brady was lucky that his division was terrible so the Bucs scraped their way into the postseason (via Tampa Bay.com).
Some NFL experts think that Brady should have taken a sabbatical year in 2022 instead of rejoining the Bucs. This could have allowed him to deal with his personal life and refresh his mind. Then he could have had a last hurrah with another team like the Raiders, the Dolphins, or even his beloved 49ers (via Forbes).
But he should have retired instead of rushing back for a dismal season. Now everybody will associate his final year with failure instead of going out in a blaze of glory. It wouldn’t matter if the Bucs crashed out of the playoffs if they played well. But they lost with a whimper against ‘America’s Team.’
Another reason why Brady should have retired earlier is that the Bucs entered another transitional period. Bruce Arians said that he quit because Brady came back. He did this as a compliment to the quarterback because he wanted Todd Bowles to inherit his talents. But Arians had already mentally checked out after winning the Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, there was a significant player turnover and this affected Brady. He lost Rob Gronkowski to retirement again as well as multiple receivers. This meant that he didn’t have many elite weapons apart from Mike Evans. It affected Brady’s game because he was trying to forge new on-field relationships but it didn’t always work (via Glamour).
Nobody knows what went on behind closed doors but Brady’s family impacted him in 2022. First, there was the trauma of losing them and a messy public divorce. It must have been agony to see his personal life make headlines across the world. Then he had the challenge of living without his children in the same house.
This was a brutal transition for Brady and there’s no shame if it distracted him. Some people think that he should have retired early and spent more time with them. Maybe they wouldn’t have broken apart if he had. But it’s impossible to know and it may have been inevitable if they had irreconcilable differences (via People).
“I didn’t like watching that game,” Jordan Poyer said after the Cowboys defeated Tampa in the 2022 Wild Card Round. He continued: “It was hard to watch. You’re down 27-0 at halftime. He was defeated. You could see he was defeated. I still think he obviously knows everything about everything, the insides and out of football.”
The Bills’ star safety wasn’t the only player who felt this way about Brady’s final game. But it was also the story of each game in his final season. It’s never a good sign when an athlete’s fellow professionals call for their retirement. They know that it’s tough to walk away but they didn’t want to see him tarnish his legacy.
Brady entered his final season with nothing left to prove. The seven-time Super Bowl winner is the most successful player ever. He knew that Tampa Bay wasn’t in a position to win again but he kept playing. Some people admire him because he didn’t pack up after claiming a ring. But there was no need for him to stick around.
If he didn’t go home to San Francisco he should have retired earlier. The three-time MVP earned 15 Pro Bowl selections. Meanwhile, he was a five-time Super Bowl MVP as he played a crucial role in inspiring his teams to victory. Brady should have retired because he had completed football multiple times (via AP News).
Nobody wants to see a 45-year-old Brady taking hard hits from the NFL’s toughest defensive ends. But he put himself in that position by continuing to play deep into his forties. Remember, the average length of an NFL career is less than four years. Brady took his tenure as a starter to the extreme and could pay a harsh price (via Sportscasting).
The former New England star avoids the topic of concussions but admits he suffered several. This included multiple concussions in a single game which is not good for his long-term brain health. We hope that the future Hall of Famer will have a healthy post-playing life. But he should have retired earlier because there was nothing else for him to do.
If Brady’s career was a train journey he fell asleep and missed his final stop. Instead of hanging up his cleats in 2023, he should have retired earlier. The legendary quarterback had his fairytale ending after the Bucs won the Super Bowl in 2021. It was the perfect time for him to walk away after he achieved his seventh victory.
It also proved that Brady could win without Bill Belichick. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay built the team to win with Brady at the center. It was only going downhill after this victory but Brady didn’t recognize this. Everybody would have thought it was perfect if he quit after he won his final Vince Lombardi Trophy (via WSN).