Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been hit with an onslaught of changes since the conclusion of the 2021 NFL season. First, there was Brady's retirement from the team, followed by his subsequent return just 41 days later.
On Wednesday, the team announced that head coach Bruce Arians would be retiring from coaching and joining the front office as a Senior Football Consultant.
According to Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat writer Rick Stroud, Tom Brady learned of Arians' decision to step down either on the day of his return or perhaps a day after.
The report may leave many to wonder whether or not the retirement of Bruce Arians as head coach was a requirement for Tom Brady to return.
Arians spoke with NBCSports about the decision, and it appears that the now-former head coach felt comfortable leaving the job to Todd Bowles because the seven-time Super Bowl champion was back in the fold:
"It hit me after the Super Bowl. I thought really hard about going out on top. Then it was like, nah, let’s go for two. [The 2021 season] was a grind with all the injuries but still winning and getting to where we got. (Immediately) two to three weeks afterwards [I thought] … if I quit, my coaches would get fired. I couldn’t do it then. Tom was kind of the key. When Tom decided to come back...and all of these guys are back now, it’s perfect timing for me to just go into the front office and still have the relationships that I love."
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times also confirmed this by issuing the following message via Twitter:
"Tom Brady’s decision to unretire helped cement the decision for Arians because the coach wanted to hand over a Super Bowl-caliber team to Todd Bowles."
Was a sour relationship between Tom Brady and Bruce Arians the real reason behind the HC's retirement?
If Tom Brady and Bruce Arians have a frosty relationship, they are each playing their part in not making it public.
As the media began to relay the rumors of friction between the two, Arians quickly did his best to shoot down those gossip.
After Wednesday's announcement of the head coach moving to the front office of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady released the following message on Instagram thanking the coach for all he has done for him:
"Thank you, BA, for all that you have done for me and our team. You are an incredible man and coach, and it was a privilege to play for you. You are a true NFL legend and pioneer for all the work you have done to make the league more diverse and inclusive. Smart, tough, and loyal are a few of the words to describe your style."
Brady ended his statement by thanking Arians for his leadership over the last two seasons:
"I will always remember the conversations we had when you recruited me two years ago, and all of the things we discussed came true 💯. We all benefited from your leadership and guidance and I’m so proud of everything we accomplished. You were a huge part of the decision to join the Bucs and I’m forever grateful."
If there was any friction between the two sides, we might never know as Todd Bowles will now take over as head coach for next season and beyond.