Bucs QB Brady could return for the 24th season

Ian Rapoport and Tom Peliserro of NFL Network report this “all options are on the table” for Bucs quarterback Tom Brady. The 45-year-old quarterback could play a 24th season in the NFL in 2023 at age 46.

That may include a return for a fourth season in Tampa Bay.

Or it could mean Brady will be playing elsewhere in 2023 as he is not under contract next year.

Rapoport and Pelissero report: ‘Can he sign somewhere else? There are certainly teams that regret not trying harder to sign Brady three years ago. Even at 45, he would be an upgrade (albeit probably short term) for many QBs from now on. More than half the league has QB questions coming in this off-season. If Brady feels his best shot at winning another Super Bowl isn’t in Tampa, it makes sense that he would look for the right situation. Family considerations will certainly factor into any decision, as they did in 2020, with his children currently living on the East Coast.

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

There was interest from Miami to lure and trade Brady for former Saints head coach Sean Payton to the Dolphins in the past off-season, but that fell through due to the turbulence created by the Brian Flores lawsuit. Brady retired for 41 days last season, but eventually returned to Tampa Bay.

There could be interest next year from the 49ers, his favorite team growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, or another team. Brady is eager to play against the 49ers Sunday afternoon in San Francisco.

But Brady has expressed a desire to stay on the East Coast, where his children live. That could mean staying in Tampa Bay to play with some of the teammates he enjoys playing with, including wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and center Ryan Jensen.

Brady may return to the Bucs for one more season

During a tumultuous 2022 season, Brady had recently separated from wife Gisele Bündchen and the injury-plagued Bucs got off to a disappointing 6-6 start, though the team still tops the NFC South.

There are plenty of other reasons for Brady to stay with the Bucs, including his close relationship with owner Joel Glazer and general manager Jason Licht.

Wherever Brady plays in 2023 — if he does — it will likely be for a new offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay or elsewhere. Chances are the Bucs will replace offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich if the offensive doesn’t improve. The Tampa Bay offense has averaged nearly 30 points per game for the past two years, but this season, which ranks 27th in the NFL, only averaged 18.1 points per game.

The other option Brady has is to retire and possibly a broadcasting career at Fox. He signed a 10-year, $375 million deal to become an NFL analyst with the network.

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