Tom Brady announced his retirement Feb. 1, and barely more than a month later, Tom Brady unretires via tweet. Brady posted Sunday night, announcing he’ll return for his 23rd season and play for Tampa Bay once again.
Let’s check in on what it means for the Bucs and what the current market looks like for Super Bowl futures.
Tom Brady Unretires: Did Market React?
Speculation about a Brady return had already mounted after a lukewarm commitment to leaving in several interviews. He notably said “never say never” just a week after his announcement.
Therefore, the market may not have been fully convinced and baked in no Brady for 2022. However, we do know the Bucs quickly crashed from +1000 to +2200 a couple of weeks after initial odds hit the DraftKings Sportsbook board.
Even if Brady returned, it wasn’t certain he would do so in Tampa Bay. When the San Francisco 49ers made clear they were looking to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, some wondered about a Brady return to his home state. After all, the 49ers have a loaded roster still while Tampa Bay has a lot of moving parts to juggle this offseason.
But, Brady made clear in his tweet he’s returning to the Bucs for the third season. Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl in his first go there before falling to the eventual champion Rams this past season.
Where Does Tom Brady’s Return Leave the Bucs?
Unfortunately for Brady, while the Bucs entered the past season as a perceived juggernaut, that may not be the case for 2022-23. The Super Bowl-winning roster has naturally started to lose continuity a year after the band almost entirely got back together.
Notable free agents on a talented defense include DT Ndamukong Suh, EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul and CB Carlton Davis.
Brady’s supporting cast on offense has begun to fray as well. Star G Ali Marpet retired. Solid C Ryan Jensen is a free agent as well. The wide receiver corps looks notably weaker without Antonio Brown and potentially Chris Godwin for some portion of the season. The team brought Godwin back with the franchise tag but it’s unknown when and if he’ll return to full strength after a serious knee injury. TE Rob Gronkowski is a free agent as well and will likely decide between retirement or one last run alongside Brady.