On Saturday, ESPN's Jeff Darlington and NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has decided to retire from the NFL after 22 years. Tributes poured in for the seven-time Super Bowl champion but had to be paused soon after.
KRON4 News' Kylen Mills reported that Brady Sr., the quarterback's father, refuted claims about his son's retirement. Per Tom Sr., "an online publication started circulating an insubstantial rumor."
The quarterback's father also told NFL Network's Mike Giardi the following:
"This story Mike is total conjecture. Tommy has not made a final decision one way or the other and anybody else that says that he has is absolutely wrong."
So the question remains: Is the veteran quarterback retiring, or did two of the most trusted insiders commit an unprecedented gaffe?
Rapoport may have the answer.
Rapoport explains conflicting reports regarding Tom Brady's future
On the NFL Network, Rapoport explained:
"Nobody has actually denied that Tom Brady plans to retire. There's been statements that sound like denial. Tom Brady's father telling Mike Giardi that, basically calling this speculation, and saying that he hasn't firmly decided. There is the fact that Tom Brady told the Buccaneers that he has not decided for sure to retire."
The quarterback's agent, Don Yee, said that the seven-time Super Bowl champion will "be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy." Rapoport said of the comment:
"There's the statement from Brady's longtime agent Dom Yee calling (the report) speculation, which is basically what he calls everything involving reporting."
Rapoport said the report isn't inaccurate, but rather untimely:
"Everyone has said not no, but not yet. My understanding, confirming the initial report, is that Tom Brady does plan to retire. (I've) talked to several people close to him that believe he has played his last down of football. (He's) retiring after 7 Super Bowls, 3 MVPs, 22 seasons, endless Pro Bowls, the greatest quarterback of all time. All of that."
He speculated that the quarterback could make the announcement on his ESPN show, "Man in the Arena":
"This sounds to me, taking all this together, to be an issue of timing more than anything. Brady is very in-charge and in control of his brand. He generally has fantastically well-produced announcements. He's producing a show on ESPN+ about his entire career that has not yet filmed the final episode. I wonder what will be in that episode? That will be interesting as well. But this not all buttoned up yet, but my understanding is that the plan is for Tom Brady to retire."
While there's a lack of clarity about Brady's future in the NFL, expect that to be cleared up in the next few days.