Tom Brady Jun 9, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) participates in a press conference during mandatory mini camp at AdventHealth Training Center Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady remains absent from the NFL preseason. And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been super vague as to why, aside from claiming it was preplanned time away.

While everyone certainly hopes the Brady family is healthy, there has been universal speculation as to what may have caused the 45-year-old quarterback to step away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they gear up for Week 1 of the NFL season. Thursday night, someone shared a theory on Reddit, claiming Brady’s absence is because he’s a contestant on Fox’s top-secret celebrity singing competition The Masked Singer.

I try to stay clear of conspiracy theories as much as possible, but while this one sounds hilarious and wild at first, the more you think about it, the more believable it is. I do realize that’s very much something a conspiracy theorist would say.

Brady retired from the NFL for 39 days earlier this year. And during that retirement, he was undoubtedly negotiating his $375 million broadcast deal with Fox, which was announced shortly after Brady made his return to the Bucs for at least one more season.

There’s already precedent for Fox broadcasters appearing on The Masked Singer. Joe Buck’s last hurrah with Fox, before he officially made the jump to ESPN, was a performance on The Masked Singer. Is it crazy to believe Fox also signed Brady up for the top-secret celebrity singing competition?

No, it’s not crazy at all. What is crazy, is the idea that Brady would just walk away from the Bucs during the heart of the preseason, ditching his teammates when he should be building chemistry with an offensive line that’s facing the possibility of having to start a third-string center. But leaving to fulfill a previously negotiated responsibility with his future employer? Not crazy. In fact, it’s totally sane.

Adding to it’s validity is the fact that Fox is currently taping Season 8 of The Masked Singer. Fans can still sign up to be in the live audience for the finale, which is scheduled to tape Saturday, Aug. 20. Saturday, Aug. 20 also happens to be when the Bucs are playing the Tennessee Titans, which was the game Tampa initially said Brady is likely to return after.

If this rumor is in fact true, we need Brady and the Bucs to miss the NFL Playoffs, for the sole reason of gaining the ability to blame his lack of football focus on an allegiance to Fox and The Masked Singer. Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith must be salivating over the hot take potential this story has.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to