While most National Football League fans across the globe had their eyes on Sunday’s showpiece championship clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans will undoubtedly have their eyes on events closer to home, as at the beginning of the month the legendary quarterback, Tom Brady, confirmed that he was retiring for good this summer.
45 year old Brady had, of course, previously announced his retirement from the NFL pretty much this time last year, but six weeks later he changed his mind citing ‘unfinished business’ but he was unable to add to his six New England Patriots rings and the Super Bowl won with the Bucs back in 2021. Super Bowl odds on the next potential winner are everywhere ahead of Sunday.
The curtain came down on Brady’s final season as the Buccaneers suffered a 31-14 playoff defeat to the Dallas Cowboys last month.
In an emotional video posted to social media following the end of their season, Brady explained.
“I’m retiring – for good. I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first. It won’t be long-winded. You only get one super-emotional retirement essay and I used mine up last year. Thank you so much to every single one of you for supporting me – my family, my friends, my team-mates, my competitors. I could go on forever – there’s too many. Thank you for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you all.”
A potential replacement for Brady, particularly in light of his record breaking and glittering career, is not the only decision the Buccaneers face in the offseason. They also need to make a decision on veteran linebacker Lavonte David. The long time defensive captain has been with the franchise since 2012, and although is essentially a free agent right now, the 33 year old proved in the 2022 campaign that even if his career is slowly coming to a close,, he has still got plenty in the tank when it comes to performing at the top level and his game by game consistency has not seen a drop off.
Whatever decision the Bucs actually come to on his future, joining Ronnie Lane and Tom Krasniqi on their show on WDAE, David was clear that he wanted to end his career at the Raymond James Stadium, stating ‘Lavonte David: Career Buccaneer.’
“Right now, I’m just enjoying this time off. Just getting my body back right. I’ll probably start back training really going hard pretty soon. Spending time with my wife and daughter. Getting the chance to go on vacations possibly. I haven’t really got a chance to talk to the Bucs about stuff like that. At the same time, they’ve got a lot of stuff going on anyway. So, you’ve definitely got to give them that time. But I’m pretty sure they’ll probably hit me up whenever they kind of settle down. Because obviously, I would love to be back in Tampa. I played 11 years there. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. But I’m not naïve to the business side of football. So, I’m definitely grateful for whatever happens after.”
It could be a busy off season for them.
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