Tom Brady sparked speculation with way he ended press conference
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady has said he will take some time before deciding whether he wants to play in the NFL next season, but some feel he may have provided a hint about his future with the way he ended his final press conference of the season.

After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys in Monday night’s wild-card game, Brady provided little insight into which way he might be leaning for 2023. Before he left the podium, however, the 45-year-old went out of his way to thank the media and all those who have supported him during his time with the Bucs.

“I just want to say thank you to you guys for everything this year. I really appreciate all your effort. I know it’s hard for you guys, too. It’s hard for us as players to make it through (the season), and you guys have a tough job,” Brady said. “I appreciate all that you guys do to cover us and everyone who watches and is a big fan of the sport. We’re very grateful for everyone’s support.

“I love this organization. It’s a great place to be. Thank you everybody for welcoming me and all you regulars. I’m very grateful for the respect. Hopefully I gave the same thing back to you guys. So, thank you very much. I appreciate it.”

Many interpreted that as a farewell from Brady, but to whom? The message may not have had as much hidden meaning behind it as people think.

Even if Brady does play next season, it could very well be for a different team. He is set to become a free agent, the the Buccaneers are coming off an 8-9 season and a blowout loss in the first round of the playoffs. They hardly looked like a Super Bowl contender.

Should Brady continue his playing career, his sole motive will be trying to win an eighth Super Bowl. It is possible he knows there is a strong chance he will not return to Tampa Bay, even if he does play a 24th season. That could explain why he thanked the media and fans who have supported him since he joined the Bucs three years ago.

Several teams will try to convince Brady to keep playing, and there are at least three that are considered potential suitors.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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