Bye, Bye Brady?

Ben Capocci ’26

Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Ben Capocci ’26
Tom Brady following the Patriots Super Bowl XLVI loss

In 2012, I remember the dreadful feeling in my house following the defeat of the New England Patriots by the New York (but should be New Jersey) Giants. I was only nine years old. It seemed like the Patriots had just blown one of their final chances with Tom Brady to win another Super Bowl. After winning three out of four Super Bowls at the beginning of the millennium, the Patriots’ winning machine seemed to stall. With some tough playoff losses and a heartbreaking Super Bowl defeat in the 2007 season, it became abundantly clear that winning the Super Bowl was not easy. With this in mind, the Patriots had a chance to rectify their past failures and avenge the failed perfect season team against the Giants. But, they blew their opportunity, losing for a second time to Eli Manning and the G-Men. The questions after that game were of both the “What if?” and, “What next?” variety.

“What if Gronk was healthy?”… “How did Welker drop that?”… “What’s next for this team?”… “How much longer will Tom Brady be able to lead this team deep into the playoffs?”

More than a decade later, we know that Tom Brady was not close to finished. After that game, as most are aware, Brady would win four more Super Bowls, while being the most important player in every one of those seasons. All of the doubt people had about his longevity vanished, as he cemented himself as not just a “very good” quarterback, but, rather, as the best football player to ever play. Now, for the second time, it appears that Tom Brady, at the age of 45, has finally hung it up. This time, for good.

I don’t feel like a recitation of Brady’s achievements as a whole is needed for this article, as I am sure many of you have been bombarded by social media posts doing just that. With that being said, what he has accomplished is utterly ridiculous. But, what I would like to focus on is what the future holds for both the NFL (post-Brady) and for Brady on a personal level as he once again steps away.

This Sunday, we will be watching the quarterback duel between Pat Mahomes and Jalen Hurts as they battle it out for the Lombardi Trophy. Mahomes (six years old at the time of Brady winning his first Super Bowl), is the league’s premier quarterback. Unreal athleticism mixed with insane arm strength and elusiveness has allowed Mahomes to lead the Chiefs to five straight home AFC Championships, with three Super Bowl appearances, his third being this Sunday. Headed by Mahomes, the “ideal QB” has started to shift from a pocket passer to a more flashy, mobile quarterback. Stars such as Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, and Jalen Hurts are great examples of these new exciting playmakers which vary a little bit from Brady’s sit-in-the-pocket-and-deliver style. This has been the way the league seems to have been heading for the past few years. Despite this, Brady was still able to outduel Mahomes in Super Bowl LV, proving to the world that Brady, and his style, could still hang. But now, with Brady gone and Packers veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers appearing to be on his way out in the next few years, it is time for these quarterbacks, and their playmaking abilities, to take over.

We saw this throughout this year’s playoffs, with this new generation of QBs representing every team in the conference championship games. In this evolving league, the quarterback has become the main attraction, even more so than in the past. This has allowed these new QBs to thrive. That is not to say that Brady no longer could fit in, because, in my personal opinion, he certainly could continue playing for the right team (*cough* 49ers *cough*) and be competitive. But, it is no secret that the league has changed, and new quarterbacks have emerged to fit the system.

Now, the more intriguing question: What is Tom Brady going to do with all of this free time on his hands? With his first retirement, it seemed clear to everyone that Brady was going to work on his family life, but now, after his divorce from his wife Gisele Bündchen, Brady is going to have a lot of free time to do whatever he pleases. But, the most obvious next occupation for the “GOAT” is right back into the realm of football as color analyst for Fox Sports.

Brady is set to become the next number one color commentator for the network for 10 years starting in 2024 after signing a massive contract with the channel before the 2022 season. A former player going up into the booth is not a shocking move at all, but it is a difficult skill. There is no reason to believe that Brady would be bad at color commentary, other than his stiff demeanor (I don’t mean that, I love you, Tom!) so maybe it will be a perfect fit and Brady will be content there for the rest of his “working” days. But, I have my doubts. Announcing is difficult, and despite all of the great insight Brady will bring to the table, I’m not sure he will succeed. So, what would be next for him if it’s not announcing? Well, I wouldn’t rule anything!

Despite Brady ending his retirement sentence with “for good,” and entering into the late half of his forties, I think Tom is too obsessed to stay away if someone will have him. Would another comeback affect his legacy? Maybe, but I wouldn’t put it past him. Let’s see if he can live without the routine he has followed for the past 23 years.

Or, maybe after his breakthrough performance in “80 for Brady,” we will be seeing Tom Brady at the Oscars in a few years!

Categories: Sports

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