Tom Brady was non-committal about his future after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were eliminated from the NFL playoffs on Sunday amid speculation the quarterback icon is mulling retirement.
The 44-year-old seven-time Super Bowl champion said he would assess his future plans on a “day-by-day” basis in the wake of the Buccaneers’ last-gasp 30-27 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams.
“I haven’t put a lot of thought into it,” Brady said when asked about his future. “We’ll just take it day-by-day and see where we’re at.”
The NFL superstar added that he had not considered the possibility that Sunday’s defeat might have been his last game at any stage.
“I was thinking about winning. That’s kind of my mentality always – to go out there to try to win,” he said.
“Just trying to go out there to give my team the best chance to win. Truthfully guys, I’m thinking about this game.”
The NFL Network reported earlier Sunday that Brady is giving consideration to retirement in the close season, a move that would bring the curtain down on the career of a player widely regarded as the greatest quarterback in the history of the sport.
Brady still has a year to run on his contract with Tampa Bay, but has reportedly not told the team whether he plans to return for the 2022 season.
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians has voiced scepticism that Brady will retire. The quarterback led the NFL this year with 43 touchdown passes and 5,316 passing yards.
“I would be shocked if he didn’t (play next year),” Arians said earlier this week.
Brady meanwhile was left mulling on an agonising defeat on Sunday just when it looked as if he was poised to complete a thrilling comeback.
The Bucs rallied from 27-3 down to tie the game at 27-27 before losing to Matt Gay’s field goal as time ran out.
“We were down a bunch and a lot of guys made a bunch of different plays to get us back into it, Brady said. “They just made one more than us.
“We got off to a slow start, which we certainly didn’t want to do against a good football team like that who plays well from ahead. They made us pretty one-dimensional.
“It’s always pretty tough losing at the end of the year. Obviously we showed a lot of fight. But at the end of the day, you lose a game, you lose a game.”