Mike Florio on Tom Brady Credit: The Dan Patrick Show on YouTube

When Tom Brady dropped a hint at a return to the NFL on a podcast last week, the football world took note.

On Monday, longtime NFL insider Mike Florio speculated in an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show that Brady could easily have been laying the foundation for bailing on his No. 1 game analyst job at Fox and rejoining an NFL team this fall.

“I think there are no accidents when it comes to Tom Brady,” Florio said. “And for him to come out and say, after declaring last year he’s done and he’s never coming back … [that he] wouldn’t be opposed to coming back and playing, are you kidding me? That was huge.”

After all, Brady retired after the 2022 season and following some pretty out-there schemes to get back in, reportedly made it clear to his inner circle that he was 100 percent done playing. But on the Deep Cuts podcast, Brady indicated he hasn’t ruled out a return to the league this season if a team needs a quarterback. That admission not only gives needy teams an opening to bring in the GOAT, it also throws Fox’s NFL broadcast plans back into flux after signing Brady to a monster deal two years ago.

Florio believes Brady’s comment was intentional.

“I don’t think it’s something that just flew out of his mouth, I think he’s ready to come back,” Florio argued. “And I think that was his trial balloon to see if anyone will call him. Just a couple of weeks before the draft, plenty of teams looking for quarterbacks … I think Brady wants to come back. He wants to be pursued.”

As a result, Florio could easily see Brady never joining Fox’s booth in 2024, or perhaps ever.

“I think there’s a chance he never gets in the booth at all, at least not this year,” Florio told Patrick.

Florio imagined Brady in the Fox booth calling a game in which a competitive team’s star quarterback goes down and the awkwardness that would ensue as all eyes turn to Brady as a replacement. Patrick joked Brady should just wear pads in the broadcast booth to save everyone the trouble.

With four and a half months to go before Week 1 of the NFL season, even the most plugged-in people in the NFL still wonder whether Brady will actually follow through with his retirement and broadcasting career.

[Dan Patrick Show on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.