It sounds like Tampa Bay Buccaneers senior advisor Bruce Arians believed there was at least some chance quarterback Tom Brady could play another season with the club.
According to the Joe Bucs Fan website, Arians was asked during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio if he was surprised by Brady’s “for good” retirement that the seven-time Super Bowl champion announced on Feb. 1.
“I think you never knew with Tom,” Arians responded. “What he went through was really pretty hard, personally. And he did an unbelievable job of trying to put it aside and went out and played at a high level. So I didn’t know if that was going to get to him. He can still sling it now, he can still sling it.”
It was reported before Brady and the Buccaneers fell to the Dallas Cowboys in the wild-card round of the playoffs on Jan. 16 that Tampa Bay “very much” wanted the 45-year-old to return for another campaign.
After the Buccaneers parted ways with OC Byron Leftwich following the postseason defeat, it was said that the organization was asking OC candidates during interviews how they would get the best out of Brady in 2023.
After Brady confirmed his retirement via a video he shared on social media, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported he had “informed the Buccaneers of his decision at 6 a.m. ET” that same day. Interestingly, Tom Brady Sr. later said that his son informed the family of his plans “about a week” before the previously mentioned video went public.
Arians served as Brady’s head coach during the 2020 and 2021 seasons and told Dan Pompei of The Athletic in November he and TB12 “maybe spend an hour talking about football and another hour talking about life” in a week.
While multiple individuals have said Brady was always going to either stay with the Buccaneers or retire, it appears he gave Arians and others associated with the franchise zero heads up before the morning of Feb. 1.