Questions about Tom Brady's future are swirling after the Patriots' brutal loss to the Titans. Here's why there's no way he'll retire now.
When the final seconds ticked off the game clock Saturday night in Foxborough, something extraordinary happened. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots lost a postseason game other than the Super Bowl or AFC Championship.
For the first time since the 2010 season, the AFC Championship will not feature Brady and the Patriots.
While many football fans are glad the Patriots lost, many more are wondering what becomes of Tom Brady. Is he going to retire? Will he be in a Patriots uniform next season, or will he play somewhere else?
The media asked Brady these questions following the game and got the usual cryptic answer:
Retirement has been a possibility for an aging Brady for years. But the Patriots continued to win, so hardly anyone ever questioned his return.
After losing in the wild card round with the final play being a pick-6—many are.
He says he is not going to retire, but if the Patriots don’t want him back, could this be the end?
At his age (he’ll be 43 before the 2020 season starts), retirement is a definite possibility. Typically, kickers are the only players that last into their 40s, but it is even rare for them to last that long.
But like those few kickers, Brady’s skill has not diminished.
Since he has remained relatively healthy, the Patriots haven’t needed to move on. This season, the offense often seemed to struggle, which opens the door for the possibility of change.
Even so, here are three reasons why Brady will not retire now.
Quarterbacks are the easiest NFL players to praise – and the easiest to blame. The struggles on the offensive side of the ball were not all Brady’s fault this season. Besides Julian Edelman, the Patriots had nothing at wide receiver.
Even the GOAT needs something to work with.
Fans know all too well that Tom Brady doesn’t play for the records, but it would be nice to see him capture the ones in reach before he goes.
Had he staged a comeback in the wild card game, he would have broken the tie with Peyton Manning for most 4th-quarter comebacks (45).
With one more full season under his belt, Brady can break Brett Favre’s record for games started (298; Brady currently sits at 283). Should he make a triumphant return, and the Patriots offense looks good, he’ll undoubtedly earn a record-setting 15th Pro Bowl nod.
Technically, he is also still within reach of the career passing touchdown mark currently held by Drew Brees. But let’s be real—Brees isn’t going anywhere, and he is going to throw more touchdown passes than Brady next year.
This final reason may be the best argument against Brady retiring. We need more hype videos from Brady. This outstanding piece of work can’t be his last.
If Brady wants to play for the Patriots next year, it sounds like he’ll get the opportunity. Patriots owner Robert Kraft said as much when asked about Brady’s future before Saturday’s game:
I just hope and pray we fit into his plans. He is unique in the kind of leader he is, his work ethic, his selfless nature, everything. Think about it: He’s been with us 20 percent of the life of the NFL.
But then the question may become whether Bill Belichick is back too (which may be what really determines the end of the Patriots dynasty).