The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not be able to defend their Super Bowl title. The reigning champions were eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs, falling 30-27 to the visiting Los Angeles Rams.
With the team now on to the offseason, one question will dominate the discourse in Tampa Bay and beyond: Is that it for Tom Brady?
The greatest quarterback to ever play the game is coming off an MVP-caliber season, but at age 44 is obviously a lot closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Immediately after the Buccaneers’ defeat on divisional round Sunday, however, he did not touch on the topic.
“I haven’t put a lot of thought into it,” Brady said during his postgame press conference. “We’ll just take it day by day and see where we’re at.”
He also pointed out that he had not put any thought into retiring ahead or after of the game.
“I was thinking about winning,” he said. “That’s kind of my mentality, always to go out there and try to win. Give my teammates the best chance to win.”
Brady oftentimes stated playing until 45 as his goal. He will hit that mark in August and with one year left on his contract might decide to give it one last shot.
There is little doubt, after all, that he can play on an elite level still. Brady set new career marks in passing attempts (719), completions (485) and yards (5,316) during the regular season — leading the league in all three categories. He also was first in touchdown passes with 43, while throwing only 12 interceptions.
In two playoff games, the long-time New England Patriots QB went 59-for-91 for 600 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.