Tom Brady’s announcement of his retirement Wednesday has already sparked plenty of reactions. In addition to new reactions, though, this move means there’s a lot of revision needed for takes even from the past 10 days on Brady. There’s been a lot of discussion of where Brady might wind up as a player in 2023, everywhere from San Francisco to Las Vegas to Washington, D.C. to Tennessee to a return with Tampa Bay. Presuming this retirement is actually “for good,” none of those moves are going to happen. Here are five things from the past 10 days alone on Brady playing in 2023:
1. Rex Ryan’s “Watch the Washington Commanders in this”: On ESPN Monday, Ryan went really out there with his prediction, saying a change in ownership with the Commanders (which hasn’t happened yet) sets up a situation where “I could see Sean Payton and Tom Brady” with Washington:
So many things would have to fall into place (basically over the next several days) for this to even be a possibility. Tom Brady and Sean Payton coming to DC would be wild. pic.twitter.com/JuXLT2FAKr
— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) January 29, 2023
That is not at all the timeline for an ownership change in Washington. Payton, of course, wound up with the Denver Broncos. And Brady has now wound up in retirement.
2. Tim Kawakami’s “the stars have aligned” for Brady with the 49ers: Discussions of Brady returning to the Bay Area have been percolating for some time, but a Tim Kawakami column Tuesday after news on Brock Purdy’s injury was one of the most forceful. And that was even more so with The Athletic’s main Twitter account handled it:
Tom Brady could hit the wall. He could get hurt.
But this offseason, the stars have aligned to where a union with his childhood team feels fated, writes @TimKawakami.
Tom Brady, San Francisco 49er.https://t.co/gD7w3xq29R
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) January 31, 2023
The actual piece there included lots of discussion that it wasn’t even clear if Brady wanted this. But it did end with “after the two sides have zig-zagged away from each other for all these years, fate has brought them this ripe and very convenient opportunity to come together at last.” They won’t be doing that now.
3. Thomas Davis’ “I think that team is going to be the Raiders”: Many people predicted the Las Vegas Raiders as Brady’s next destination, especially with his former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels there as the head coach. But former NFL linebacker Thomas Davis was particularly adamant on that on CBS Sports Network:
“I think that team is probably gonna be the Raiders.”@ThomasDavisSDTM sees a huge opportunity for Tom Brady in Las Vegas with great offensive weapons & a reunion with Josh McDaniels. pic.twitter.com/96taqYhSPj
— NFL on CBS ? (@NFLonCBS) January 22, 2023
The Raiders still have a change to make at quarterback after announcing plans to move on from Derek Carr (who’s still on the roster for now). But it looks like it won’t be to Brady.
4. Nick Wright’s “Tom Brady to the Raiders, Aaron Rodgers to the Jets”: On his What’s Wright podcast Tuesday, Fox Sports’ Wright took a big swing at predicting not just one, but two, huge quarterback moves:
"I think it's Tom Brady to the Raiders and Aaron Rodgers to the Jets."
— What’s Wright? with Nick Wright (@WhatsWrightShow) January 31, 2023
The first part of that will now not be happening. But Rodgers to the Jets could still theoretically happen.
5. Devin McCourty’s “He’s going to keep playing, I think a team like the Titans”: McCourty, a former New England teammate of Brady’s, came up with one of the more unusual destinations for him on NFL GameDay last week:
“He’s going to keep playing. I think a team like the Titans. He has (Mike) Vrabel down there, a guy he played with. Not too far from his family being on the East Coast. Different than going all the way out to Vegas. I know Josh McDaniels is there. But you go to Tennessee, great running back, good defense, they’ll get some more weapons in there to throw the ball to. I could see Tom right there continuing his great career.”
Yep, that’s now also not happening.
It’s worth noting that none of these takes were absurd at the time (except perhaps for Ryan’s Commanders one, which didn’t seem to align with the ownership timeline or with anything else out there). And all predictions (and much of this was discussion rather than true definitive prediction) come with the risk of things changing. But it is interesting to see how much the Brady situation changed in the last 10 days.
[Top image via A.J. Perez on Twitter]