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Combine buzz questions whether Tom Brady is truly done

Mike McDaniel opens up to Mike Florio and Chris Simms about the challenges of becoming a head coach, how he’s continuing to navigate the Tua Tagovailoa concussion situation and more.

Last Tuesday at the Scouting Combine, Raiders coach Josh McDaniels told PFT Live that he believes quarterback Tom Brady is done. But not everyone who was in Indianapolis agrees.

For reasons previously articulated in this space, I don’t believe the door is completely slammed on Brady returning to football in 2023. While he can truthfully say as of now that he’s done, he could change his mind at any time.

Indeed, he once said that he’ll retire when he “sucks.” When reminded of that by Jim Gray during an episode of the Let’s Go! podcast, Brady said he believed it when he said it.

And thus he may have believed it when he said he was done. And he may continue to believe that until he’s no longer done.

Rich Eisen dabbled delicately, and appropriately, in the things he heard while in Indianapolis about Brady, during Eisen’s weekday show on Monday. Eisen couched it very carefully. He’s not saying Brady is telling people he wants to come back. Eisen isn’t saying Brady intends to come back at all. Instead, others were speculating that Brady could be willing to return, if the right situation arises.

And the right situation could be Miami. They were linked to him in 2020 and 2022. They were busted for tampering with him during that same period of time. Now, they have real questions about the short- and long-term durability of Tua Tagovailoa. Also, two of Brady’s children are now living in Miami.

There’s a long way to go to get the point that it would happen. And chances are it won’t. One big factor to keep in mind is that Bruce Beal, Brady’s primary connection to the Dolphins, apparently has lost plenty of standing since everything blew up last year.

Still, Brady could change his mind at any time. And it would be foolish to assume that it’s impossible he’ll wake up one day in June or July and decide to continue playing.

Don’t forget that Brady will be a free agent on March 15. He will have full flexibility to go wherever he wants, or nowhere at all. And he’s surely concerned that, if he stops now, he’ll later regret that he didn’t play the game as long as he possibly could.