There are days when it feels like Tom Brady’s NFL career is never going to end. For at least another year, that’s probably true.
The contract Brady signed with the Buccaneers in 2020 was a two-year deal, suggesting Brady was going to give two cracks at winning in his first stop post-Patriots. Whether it’s his only non-New England club or not is yet to be determined, but after Brady set a franchise-record with 40 touchdown passes in 2020, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be back playing for Bruce Arians again in September 2021.
Here’s more of what you need to know about Brady’s prospects of playing during the 2021 NFL season.
Tom Brady contract details
You can read more about Brady’s contract details from Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer here. It essentially breaks down as a symmetrical contract for Brady, who will earn $25 million in each year of the deal.
Will Tom Brady play in 2021?
While it’s generally been assumed that Brady would come back for another year since he signed a two-year contract, concrete reporting came out Jan. 9 from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that points to that same conclusion.
Rapoport reported that Brady is “loving his time in Tampa Bay” and “thinks it will be better next year.” It’s the latest indication that Brady will indeed return for the Buccaneers in 2021.
Brady added more certainty to the situation during the lead-up to Super Bowl 55.
“As long as I’m playing, I want to improve and get better. I feel like next year is going to be a lot better than this year,” Brady said on a Zoom call with reporters. “I feel like I’ll be in a much better place mentally. I’m going to train a lot better this year, physically, next year I’ll be in a better place. As soon as this game ends we’re on to next season. We’ll start thinking about next year then.”
There were initial concerns about the relationship between Brady and Arians, but apparently it’s not a huge issue. Brady has certainly benefited from high-powered weapons around him in the form of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski before even considering the two-headed rushing tandem of Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette.
Buccaneers free agents in 2021
The following Buccaneers offensive pieces are scheduled to be free agents at the conclusion of the 2021 postseason:
The Buccaneers are also slated to lose three offensive linemen to free agency along with two backup tight ends, three reserve running backs and return man Jaydon Mickens.
That means that still under contract for Tampa Bay in 2021 are Ronald Jones, Mike Evans, Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard and Scotty Miller. It’d be fair to expect Brady to talk Gronkowski into another year with the Buccaneers, who could also look to bring back Brown if his relationship with Brady is as strong as it’s seemed at times.
Godwin and Fournette could prove to be the two biggest losses. Godwin is looking at a high-end receiver contract, the type the Buccaneers already have given to Evans, which might prevent them from re-signing Godwin. And Fournette’s looked fresh in the playoffs, giving him a chance at a lead-back deal for next season.
With every indication being that Brady will run it back, though, that could always convince a few guys to stick around for another year, or if not the current Buccaneers, maybe bring along one or two other veteran free agents for another quest for a Super Bowl.
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