Tom Brady famously unretired in March of last year to take another spin around the NFL carousel. But after a down (at least by Brady standards) 2022 season, most believed the 45-year-old quarterback when he retired (again) in February of this year.
Yet, others remain somewhat unconvinced that Brady’s done for good. One prominent former signal-caller, Troy Aikman, told TMZ Sports that he wouldn’t put it past Brady to suit up in 2023.
Troy Aikman Speculates Tom Brady Could Play Football in 2023
Aikman said he wouldn’t be stunned to see Brady take snaps when discussing what role he might fulfill for the Las Vegas Raiders team he’s about to become part owner of.
“And who knows? Maybe involved to the point where he’s actually suiting up, we’ll see,” The Dallas Cowboys legend told TMZ. “I don’t want to speak for Tom, but I wouldn’t rule anything out.”
Interestingly, and perhaps not coincidentally, this speculation came shortly after a noteworthy fact about current Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract came to light via Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
Garoppolo, incapable of passing a physical, signed an injury waiver related to the left foot he injured late last season. The terms of this waiver essentially make him an at-will employee.
The Raiders can cut him at no cost if this foot renders him unable to compete. The terms of the waiver will be voided if Garoppolo passes a physical, is active for one regular season contest, and does not re-injure his foot.
Is Brady planning on moonlighting as upper-level injury insurance in the Raiders’ executive suite? Not likely, but few could fault Aikman for floating the idea out there. After all, Garoppolo’s current backups are a journeyman in Brian Hoyer and a fourth-round rookie in Aidan O’Connell.
And there are certainly worse supporting casts for Brady to step into. Vegas will return the league’s leading rusher in Josh Jacobs and a perennial All-Pro receiver in Davante Adams. Brady hasn’t thrown to a receiver of Adams’ caliber since he and Randy Moss rewrote the record books.
Not to mention solid complementary options like slot-maven Hunter Renfrow and former Patriot (and Brady teammate) Jakobi Meyers. Oh yeah, and Brady’s long-time offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the head coach, as Aikman astutely pointed out.
“He obviously has a relationship with the head coach, he knows the offense, he’ll keep himself in great shape,” Aikman said. “I would bet nothing’s off the table as far as what may occur during the season or what Tom’s role may be. I think he’s done playing, but you just never know.”
No, Troy, you never do.