Keeping up with whispers about Brady

by Gary Shelton on December 17, 2022

in general

Have you heard the one.../TIM WIRT

Saturday 4 a.m.

He is going to San Francisco.

Unless, of course, he is going to Miami...again.

Maybe, he'll go back to New England first.

It's Tom Brady, and welcome to his world, where rumor is escorted by innuendo, where whispers outweigh speculation. The whole world, it seems, is acquainted with a well-placed source, who knows the real skinny about Brady, the headline machine.

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He's going to retire...again.

He is changing the Bucs' game plans... although they still aren't working.

He pushed Bruce Arians out the door.

And so it goes. The internet knows who Brady is dating, and what his future plans are, and secret handshakes and decoded messages and inter thoughts.

That's the fun of watching Brady. I suspect it's part of the fun of being Brady. He rarely addresses the speculation, so you have to figure he sits back and giggles about it all. "Look here," he seems to be saying. "They say I want Byron Leftwich fired. Hell, if I wanted, I could fire him myself."

He's going to reunite with Antonio Brown.

He's got a new girlfriend.

He's calling Rob Gronkowski daily.

All of these are legitimate rumors, by the way, depending on who you listen to. And all of them sound like they might be true. That's what good guesswork does.

Sure, Brady might retire after this year. He hasn't had as good a year as expected, missing more dot-to-dot throws than anticipated. Heck, he's 45 years old in a young man's game. Of course, he might retire. Of course, he might unretire after that. It's happened before.

And he might pick a new team. For goodness' sakes, the one he's on doesn't look as if it will contend for the Super Bowl next year. It won't block much better, and it won't cover much better, and it will still depend on 13-play drives to score. If Brady really is in it for the rings, he could find a better landing spot.

On the other hand, San Francisco seems well-stocked at quarterback. So, too, are Cincinnati and Philadelphia and Dallas and Buffalo and Kansas City -- the guys who will be favorites to contend next year. A personal guess is that Brady won't go anywhere to start over.

For now, Brady is a Buc. For the next month, that won't change. And if it is indeed his final month as a Buc, his resume says he will go down fighting.

Will it be enough? Probably not. Those who suggest the Bucs are slow and play old have a point. They don't block well and they don't rush well. For all of Brady's flaws, he remains Tampa Bay's best chance of winning.

Sunday, that won' be enough. The Bengals are younger, faster, hungrier. Joe Burrow will shred the team's secondary.

Afterward, maybe the rumors will be that Brady is running for president. Who knows? It could be true.

Prediction: Cincinnati 38, Tampa Bay 10.

In other NFL games:

Buffalo 29, Miami 14.

New Orleans 30, Atlanta 20.

Green Bay 31, L.A. Rams 17.

Washington 20, New York Giants 17.

Tennessee 23, L.A. Chargers 21.

And in the college bowls:

Oregon State 20, Florida 14.

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