Tom Brady made it clear when he was retiring that he didn’t want a farewell tour. Now that he’s unretiring, an obvious question arises.
Is 2022 his farewell tour?
Many will assume it is. Brady can try to put a stop to it by saying that he’ll definitely be playing in 2023. (He can always change his mind later, as we know.) He also could sign a contract extension with the Buccaneers, to further the ruse.
Or he could just say he’ll worry about 2023 when 2023 comes. Really, if he retires after the 2022 season (hopefully no one buys the ball that will be his final touchdown pass for more than $518,000), we’ll expect him to unretire again, right? Especially if he’s due to become a free agent, and any team can make a pitch to land him for a year or two or whatever.
Maybe the ambiguity that Brady has now baked into his situation will prevent anyone from thinking that any year is his last year. Never say never means we’ll never know if he’s really done. Which means no year will clearly be his last year.
That said, the narrative that any year can be his last year will linger, for every remaining year of his career. For now, all we know is that he’ll be playing in 2022. Farewell tour or not, he’s playing again after saying goodbye.