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Jason Licht on Tom Brady playing beyond 2022: “We’ll get to that when we get to it”

Tom Brady didn't even last two months retired from the NFL, but Mike Florio and Chris Simms can't help but wonder why the QB left the league so suddenly in the first place.

On Monday, the Buccaneers formally announced the three-year contract that will keep receiver Chris Godwin in town. During the press conference regarding Godwin’s new deal, G.M. Jason Licht understandably was asked about another fairly important player on the roster.

Will quarterback Tom Brady, who unexpectedly announced eight days ago that he’ll be back for 2022, play beyond the coming season?

“We’ll get to that when we get to it,” Licht told reporters. “Right now we’re focused on what we have and what we need to do in the next few days.”

That includes signing more players and creating more cap space. Licht was asked whether Brady’s contract could be extended for the latter purpose.

“We have some work to do, and we’ve got some plans,” Licht said. “There’s several ways to go about it, but I don’t want to get into too much of what we’re doing. We’ve got several alternatives that we can do, and we’re confident that we’ll be able to get it done.”

Brady has a base salary of only $8.925 million in 2022, along with a roster bonus of $1.47 million to compensate him for the 17th game. His cap number if $20.27 million.

Of course, if Brady extends his contract, the Bucs will hold his rights beyond this year. If he’s thinking about finishing his career with another team, he presumably would prefer to have the flexibility of having his contract expire.

Or maybe he’ll stick around. Licht was asked about reports of friction between Brady and coach Bruce Arians in 2021.

“I mean probably you’d be surprised we didn’t talk about it much,” Licht said. “You can’t believe everything you hear and see and read. There’s always going to be some friction between people on a staff and players and a coach. It’s just normal. And like you said, it can be healthy. We didn’t really think much about it. . . . [Brady] has loved his time here. And he’s told me that several times. Open communication is great thing.”

For the Bucs, it’s a great thing that Brady will be back in 2022. As Light said, they’ll get to 2023 when they get to it.

And in case you didn’t notice, that wasn’t a denial regarding friction. Licht downplayed it. And justifiably so. It friction was a serious problem, Brady wouldn’t be back.