Tom Brady: career or family?

Kaylee Donnelly, Staff Writer

As a famous name in football for the past 20 years, it’s no surprise that Tom Brady has made mainstream news after his first six weeks of the regular season. 

This time, however, it’s not for his outstanding performance. Brady has found himself with his worst start through six weeks since 2012, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now 3-3 after their loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday. 

The quarterback, obviously frustrated with the start, heavily cursed out his offensive linemen on live television in the middle of their game against the Steelers. 

It’s almost inevitable that Brady’s age and experience in the NFL is now being called into question. The quarterback retired in the beginning of 2022 after the end of the season. His legacy was fulfilled. He is a seven-time Super Bowl champion and one of the biggest names in football. He had done what everyone expects a good quarterback to do: retire on a high note. 

Some even questioned whether Brady was too old last year, but he had gone and proved many wrong, leading the Buccaneers to a winning season and bringing them to the playoffs. Brady had even secured a job with Fox Sports as a broadcaster, meaning he would not have to completely step away from the sport he clearly loved. 

It took only 40 days in retirement for him to announce his return to the NFL. 

This decision to play has clearly come with its own set of complications, not only for Tampa Bay, but for Brady’s personal life as well. A public relationship is never an easy one, especially for two high celebrities such as Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bündchen respectively. 

Because of this popularity, however, it’s well known that Gisele has not been in favor of Brady extending his football career into his forties. She has been adamant about the violence in football, particularly regarding Brady’s health and the amount of concussions he has suffered. 

It was soon after his announcement out of retirement that reports came out that Brady and Gisele were no longer living together, staying at separate homes in Florida. This season, Gisele has been absent from home games. The final confirmation came just recently, when reports came out that both of them had hired divorce attorneys. 

Relationship issues, especially at this level of publicity, are extremely difficult. But it draws the question of whether or not these issues are affecting Brady’s performance. The quarterback missed much of preseason camp, reported to be sorting out things with his wife and kids, and his playing time was not affected despite missing a large chunk of important training. 

The Buccaneers coach remains confident that Brady’s playing time despite missing training is not a result of his legacy, but that itself seems questionable.

Brady has put up a career low 3.2 percent touchdown rate while attempting to pass, with only eight touchdown passes in his six games. The Buccaneers average about 20 points per game, down from 30 points the previous year. 

Although the season is not over, the Buccaneers relying on Brady’s offense may not be the key to success for the team. At 45, aging and struggling with marital issues that likely revolve around his return to play, perhaps Brady should have stayed retired. 

The public will never know the full story, but for Brady what it seemed to have come down to was the lack of willingness to give up his career. Only six weeks in, the Buccaneers still have a chance to come back, but Brady’s frustration with both his and the team’s play is evident.

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