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It’s no secret that Tom Brady’s contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers comes to an end this season, and after his retirement U-turn back in March, many are wondering what could be next for the NFL icon. It’s expected that Brady will leave Tampa after this season, but it’s anyone’s guess at this stage.
Brady will have an abundance of options available to him should he announce his departure from the Buccaneers after this season.
The 45-year-old has proven that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level, even if the Buccaneers are struggling in a poor NFC South division. Brady has succeeded with the Buccaneers after guiding them to Super Bowl success, but it may be time for him to make one final move before calling time.
Of course, Brady could well retire for good at the end of the season, after giving it one final go. But it’s unlikely he will want to end it on a slightly sour note, and here Express Sport assess his options should he leave the Buccaneers.
New England Patriots
Brady has already been told “it has to end” at the Patriots by NFL expert Bill Simmons, and it’s the most poetic destination on the list. Brady won six Super Bowl’s with the Patriots under Bill Belichick, and could well return for one final go.
The Patriots are building and are expected to be a force again in the coming seasons, and Brady could capitalise on that. Mac Jones is still young, and could use a mentor like Brady – as could anyone.
Brady is still close with owner Robert Kraft, and it’s believed he would take back the Buccaneers quarterback in an instance. It’s likely Brady will retire as a Patriot anyway, but he could get another season under his belt too.
Las Vegas Raiders
Brady could choose to go and headline Vegas, with the franchise in a position to offer the quarterback a monster contract. Brady would also be familiar with Josh McDaniels, who was his former offensive coordinator.
The NFL star would be the talk of Vegas, and would have some excellent offensive options at his disposal with Davante Adams keeping them afloat this season. Derek Carr remains their number one, but it would be hard to turn down Brady.
Vegas are also hosting the Super Bowl in 2024. and Brady could copy his earlier feat of leading the Buccaneers to their home Super Bowl. The Raiders need a lot of work, but with Brady, Josh Jacobs and Adams, their O-line would be stacked.
Los Angeles Rams
Brady showed exactly what he can still do at the age of 45 against the Los Angeles Rams this season, as he stunned them with a late winning drive back in November. The Buccaneers edged the Rams 16-13, producing his 55th game-winning drive in the NFL.
The Rams have been injury ridden this season, losing Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp to long-term issues. The Rams have even had to bring in Baker Mayfield, who impressed on his first outing after being waived by the Carolina Panthers.
Mayfield may be a useful asset for now, but the Rams could use Brady next season if Stafford isn’t quite ready to return. They have Super Bowl experience in his side, something that will interest Brady.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have always been an organisation that Brady has been closely linked with, but there may be no better time for the 45-year-old to join. Jimmy Garoppolo is still expected to depart despite starring for the 49ers this season, and Trey Lance still has a lot to learn.
Lance also suffered a major injury, that ended his season before it had even begun. The 49ers are going with Brock Purdy for the rest of the current season, but could use Brady next year, and he’s a local of the area.
Brady grew up on the bay, and much like MLB star Aaron Judge who was linked with a California return, the Buccaneers star has been discussed. But switching coasts would be a huge move, something that may have come too late in Brady’s career.
Brady could decide to retire once and for all, which is something he initially decided to do at the start of the year. At 45, Brady is getting no younger, and could choose to finish his time in the NFL as a legend, protecting his incredible legacy.
However, his justification for reversing his original decision shows that may not be on the radar, as he said: “I said that there’s no immediate retirement in my future. There was a retirement in the past, but I moved on from that.”
Brady is likely to retire as a Patriot after it all, but it could come at the end of this season. The Buccaneers will be left in a tough spot, as they don’t have much of a plan B.
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