NFL

Seth Wickersham believes Tom Brady will retire after the playoffs

Brady, 44, has one more year left on his current contract.

Adam Hunger
Tom Brady could be playing the final games of his career this month, according to an insider.

Tom Brady’s battle against Father Time might be coming to an end soon, if one insider is to be believed.

In a piece predicting what will happen in the NFL playoffs, ESPN’s Seth Wickersham predicts a few Hall of Fame quarterbacks will play their final games with their current teams in the next month – including the 44-year-old quarterback.

“This is just a hunch, but I’m predicting that this will be the last playoff run for three future Hall of Fame quarterbacks with their current teams,” Wickersham wrote. “We know that the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger will retire. But I think Tom Brady will, too. And finally, Aaron Rodgers will leave Green Bay after another season without reaching the Super Bowl.”

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Despite his age, Brady retiring after this season would be a bit of a shock. A month after winning Super Bowl LV, Brady signed an extension with the Buccaneers that keeps him under contract through the 2022 season. Brady did seem to signal that he could retire after the 2022 season, though.

“I’ve always said 45 was the age that I wanted to reach and that was my goal,” Brady told USA Today in July. “This year I’ll be 44, so next year I’ll be 45. I got a two-year contract.

“I’m going to be able to obviously play this year and God forbid anything happens, but play next year and then see what happens after that. If I still want to keep playing, I might be able to do that. And if that’s enough, then that would be enough.”

As Brady alluded to, his current contract runs through his 45-year-old season, which is the age he’s stated he’d like to play until for several years. Brady hasn’t made any commitment past the final year on his current contract.

“I’ll just have to evaluate all that when it comes,” Brady said on when he’ll make his decision to retire. “It’s a physical sport; anything could happen. So I’m going to go out there this year and give everything I’ve got like I’ve done every other year, and then take it from there.”

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Wickersham predicting Brady’s retirement could have some merit. The ESPN writer wrote a piece during the 2017-18 playoffs that detailed friction between Brady and Bill Belichick, shedding light that Brady could leave the Patriots. Even though it didn’t happen until two years later, Brady did eventually leave the Patriots in free agency, signing with the Buccaneers in 2020.

Wickersham also detailed several behind-the-scenes stories from the Patriots dynasty in his book titled “It’s Better to Be Feared: The New England Patriots Dynasty,” including how Brady told Patriots owner Robert Kraft that he was leaving New England.

Brady’s still playing at an elite level. He led the league in passing yards (5,316) and passing touchdowns (43) this season, good enough to earn him a Pro Bowl nod and second-team All-Pro honors. Brady also led the Buccaneers to the second-best record in the NFC, giving them home-field advantage for Sunday’s first-round game against the Eagles.

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