The biggest news in the NFL on Thursday didn’t center on the multiple preseason games that were being played. Instead, the news centered on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles explained on Thursday that Brady will miss the next 10 days (give or take a day) of practice while he deals with some “personal things”.
Bowles indicated that Brady’s absence during training camp was pre-planned.
As you can imagine, the internet was full of speculation on Thursday and into Friday about why Brady is missing a significant chunk of practice time.
Bucs coach Todd Bowles said Tom Brady will be gone for a period of time and back after next week’s Tennessee Titans preseason game because he needs to “deal with some personal things.” He said this was discussed in advance.
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) August 11, 2022
Does he regret unretiring? Does this have to do with the Miami Dolphins tampering story? Is Brady locked in this year?
Those are understandable questions.
But I’m pretty sure the reason for Brady’s absence is unrelated to any of those questions.
Here’s what I think’s happening:
Brady told the Tampa Bay coaching staff up front that he needed to take some personal time during training camp.
He wanted to be there for the first portion of training camp to work on chemistry and the foundation of the 2022 Buccaneers.
And now he wants to take 10 or so days to spend with his family before the grind of the season gets underway.
If he returns after Tampa Bay’s game against the Tennessee Titans, it will give him nearly three weeks with the team before the season starts.
It’s really that simple. Brady is 45. He wants to spend time with his family.
This gives him a nice 10-day stretch to get some of that quality time in before the craziness of fall hits.
And he deserves to be able to do that. Brady has earned the right to take some time off.
Remember, he didn’t have to unretire. He doesn’t have to be out there this season.
So if the Buccaneers want him to play in 2022, then they have to meet him in the middle when it comes to his workload.
We’ve seen this before in sports. Roger Clemens pitched in MLB until he was 45 years old.
During the last several years of his career, he had a provision in his contract that stated he didn’t have to travel with the team to away games if he wasn’t pitching.
Future Hall of Famers get some benefits that non-future Hall of Famers don’t get.
Like it or not, that’s how it goes in sports. Brady is far from the first legend to want to spend extra time with his family late in his career and he won’t be the last.
He’s the GOAT for a reason. And he’ll be ready to go when the season kicks off in September.