Tom Brady – – Retiring?

Another weekend of exciting football has determined that the Super Bowl champion this year will be either the Cincinnati Bengals or the Los Angeles Rams.  Normally, on the Monday after the Conference Championship Games, about the only things people talk about are the two teams and how they match up and what sorts of juicy storylines might exist involving the two teams or individual players on the two teams.  Today, there is an added wrinkle:

  • Over the weekend, both ESPN and reported that Tom Brady is hanging up the cleats and will retire to spend more time with his family.
  • The Bucs, Tom Brady’s father and Tom Brady’s agent have all said that is not the case; Brady is pondering retirement but has not yet made a decision.

And so, on this day, sports pundits also have the option to offer up commentary on their individual readings of the tea leaves on that matter.  I have exactly no information on the subject, but I do think that if Tom Brady finally chooses to retire in this off-season that choice would add another ripple in the space-time continuum of sports.  If he retires, there is one more team in the “Quarterback Acquisition Sweepstakes” because as of this morning, there are 3 QBs listed on the Bucs’ roster:

  1. Tom Brady
  2. Blaine Gabbert
  3. Kyle Trask

I cannot believe that the Bucs would elevate Gabbert to the starting position without seriously trying to get someone else for that job.  Trask was a second-round pick last year – – out of Florida – – but never saw the field in the 2021 regular season; only the Bucs’ coaching staff has a reasoned analysis of Trask’s state of readiness to be a starting NFL QB.

Brad Dickson had an interesting reaction to the rumor of Brady’s retirement:

“ESPN just reported that Tom Brady is retiring. Man, first Stephen Breyer and now Brady. What is it with all these 83 yr olds suddenly retiring?”

There is a possibility for a “Hollywood style ending” here.  Imagine if the Bucs were to acquire Jimmy Garoppolo from the Niners – – either by trade or by signing him as a free agent.  The result is that Jimmy G would replace Tom Brady as a starting QB in the NFL – – but not in New England where it appeared as if that was “The Plan” just a few years ago.  Starring Joe Flabeetz as Jimmy G…

Speaking of the New England Patriots, the team lost two staff members over the weekend.  According to reports this morning, the Las Vegas Raiders have signed Pats’ Director of Player Personnel, Dave Ziegler to be their new GM replacing Mike Mayock who was fired several weeks ago.  In addition, the Raiders signed Pats’ offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels to be their head coach.

McDaniels is the more visible of these two folks.  He has been part of the Pats’ assistant coaching staff for a total of 18 seasons; he had a short and not very successful stint as the head coach of the Broncos about 10 years ago and he infamously signed on to be the head coach of the Colts in 2018 only to back out of that deal to return to the Pats’ sideline.  I assume this means that Rich Bisaccia is on the job market now; it would be awkward for him to go back to his previous job as the Special Teams coach for the Raiders after taking over as the interim head coach in mid-season in the midst of the “Jon Gruden Saga” and guiding the Raiders to a wildcard playoff slot.  [Aside:  I am on record here saying I thought Bisaccia deserved significant consideration as the Coach of the Year in the NFL for the job he did.]

Dave Ziegler is less publicly known.  He has been with the Pats’ organization for 9 years after several years with the Broncos in their scouting department.  Ziegler held various positions with the Pats getting greater responsibility with each reassignment until he was named as the Director of Player Personnel before the start of the 2021 season.

The Ziegler/McDaniels tandem will make a decision over the next couple of months that could also influence this year’s “Quarterback Acquisition Sweepstakes”.  Derek Carr is entering the last year of a 5-year deal with the Raiders.  According to Carr will make $19.9M in 2022 and will then be an unrestricted free agent come 2023.  Carr is 31 years old; so, the key questions for the two new guys on the block in Las Vegas are pretty simple:

  1. Are you guys comfortable with Derek Carr as your QB for next season?
  2. Are you guys comfortable with signing Derek Carr to an extension?

Meanwhile, the Giants hired the Bills’ offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll as the Giants’ new head coach.  There is a parallelism between the hirings in Las Vegas and the hirings in NYC.  The Giants previously hired Joe Schoen from the Bills as their GM who will be joined in New York by a coach from the Bills organization.  The situation in Las Vegas is the same – – except the new hires came from the Pats and not the Bills.  I am sure that some folks will see these happenings as evidence of nepotism at best and racism at worst.  I think both GMs simply demonstrated a survival tendency with their choice of a head coach:

  • This is the first time each man has been a GM; like head coaches, there are only 32 of these jobs on the planet.
  • Most people who reach that level of responsibility are driven to succeed in a very competitive workspace.
  • It would be strange to see a “first time GM” with no previous record of success at the job just “take a stab” at hiring his head coach; sticking with someone he already knows and has worked with seems like s survival strategy to me.

Finally, Dwight Perry had this comment in the Seattle Times regarding a happening in the Niners/Packers playoff game from a week ago:

“The Packers had only 10 men on the field when the 49ers kicked the winning field goal in their playoff game.

“Apparently the missing guy was off doing his own research on blocking kicks.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



3 thoughts on “Tom Brady – – Retiring?”

  1. The Falcons situation with Matt Ryan, if I am reading correctly, is similar to the Derek Carr decision. He will soon be a free agent an the Falcons have almost no cap room. Giving him a raise will be difficult. With Brady gone, the Bucs could get a pretty decent QB now for a trade that probably includes some draft picks. Is Ryan a better choice that Jimmy G?

    1. Doug:

      Ryan is a better QB but he will be 37 at the start of the 2022 season. Garoppolo will turn 31 in November. I think that comparison boils down to more than who is the better QB. If you think Garoppolo is good enough to “keep around” for 5 years or more, then he is probably the better acquisition because Ryan may not be nearly as good over that sort of time span.

  2. Having just read “Heart Of A Lion”–about Bobby Layne, I am struck by the (dare I say it?) fantasy-football fascination with Derek Carr stats over the two-minute drive skills of Mr. Layne. Five times in sixteen years, Bobby Layne threw more touchdown passes than interceptions. He also won two NFL championships.

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