TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Well, that’s the end of the Buccaneers’ season, and maybe even quarterback Tom Brady’s career in Tampa Bay.
Heading into Monday night’s Wild Card game, Brady was 7-0 against the Dallas Cowboys, but after four quarters, Dallas put a blemish on Brady’s record and the Bucs’ Super Bowl dreams.
After the Cowboys had a dominant first half, the Buccaneers struggled to battle back, even after the Cowboys’ kicker missed four extra points. It wasn’t until the game’s final minutes that the Bucs were able to find the end zone for a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion.
In March, the seven-time Super Bowl champion will become an unrestricted free agent, meaning nothing is tying him to the Bay area and with rumors flying around about the goat potentially going to other teams, all eyes will be on him after tonight.
Now that the Buccaneers’ season is done, one question remains, is Brady?
Buccaneers’ head coach Todd Bowles gave no insight as to what the quarterback may be thinking and stated that the two will have to sit down to discuss Brady’s future with the Bucs.
“We’ll sit down, have a conversation and we’ll talk about it at that time. So, it’s not anything publicly that needs to be said at this time,” Bowles said after the game.
Bowles also mentioned that the Bucs won’t be rebuilding next year, but rather reloading.
“Never rebuild. You always reload. You’ve just got to tweak some things from a schematic standpoint all the way around,” Bowles said. “Obviously, no one ever comes back with every player on the team, so we’ll have some new faces in here. That’s just part of the game.”
Leaving fans to wonder if one of the new faces walking into Raymond James will be a new quarterback. While speculation can loom on if Brady will retire, join a different club or re-sign with the Bucs, the possibility seemed even more likely after Brady addressed the media.
Following the Bucs’ tough loss against the Cowboys after only holding them to a field goal in Week 1, Brady was quick to say that wasn’t the way the team wanted to end the season.
“Not the way we wanted to end it, but we didn’t deserve it. I give a lot of them credit, they played a good game – made a lot more plays than we did. So, tough night,” Brady said first thing.
After more conversation, the questions on his playing future began, asking when he’ll start to figure things out about next season. The quarterback replied, “I’m going to go home and get a good night’s sleep, as good as I can tonight.”
Brady closed his post-game conference with a genuine thank you to the reporters that cover him and the games.
“I just want to say thank you guys for everything this year. I really appreciate all of your effort and I know it’s hard for you guys, too,” Brady said. “It’s hard for us players to make it through and you guys have a tough job.”
“I appreciate all you guys do to cover us and everyone who watches and [is] a big fan of the sport, we’re very grateful for everyone’s support. Hopefully… I love this organization, it’s a great place to be. Thank you everybody for welcoming me – all you regulars – and just very grateful for the respect and hope I gave the same thing back to you guys, so thank you very much. Appreciate it,” Brady said before walking out of the room for what might’ve been his last press conference as a Buccaneer.
While there has been no official word or indication of Brady leaving, all eyes will be on the quarterback until the spring when he announces what his future playing decision will be.
The Buccaneers ended their regular season with an 8-9 record, the first losing record of Brady’s career.