TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Tom Brady is not at Buccaneers practice for personal, non-football-related reasons. The team is aware of his absence and is supportive of Brady as he takes time away from the facility, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
Tampa Bay plays a preseason game on Saturday and doesn’t practice the day before or after. That means Brady won’t be on the field with teammates again until Monday at the earliest.
Tom Brady not currently practicing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 45-year-old Brady returned to Tampa Bay for his 23rd NFL season after initially retiring in the offseason. The league’s most successful quarterback returned to the game after he said he felt “pressure” to return at the start of free agency. He also described the decision to return as a near 50-50 decision during TNT’s “The Match.”
Brady also has a lucrative deal with FOX after retirement. He’ll receive $375 million from the network over the life of his 10-year deal. While retirement is a possibility for Brady, it’s also possible that he wants to avoid the media onslaught of joining practices with Miami.
The Miami Dolphins were docked a 2023 first-round draft pick and a 2024 third-round pick for tampering with Brady back in 2019. His absence could be the result of not wanting to deal with the media frenzy would he have stepped to the podium this weekend.
Brady was excused from two practices last week as well, according to the Tampa Bay Tribune. He celebrated his 45th birthday on Aug. 3 but also took Thursday off for “personal reasons.”
Todd Bowles provides update to media
Head coach Todd Bowles told the media that Brady would be away from the team until after the Buccaneers face the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 of the NFL’s preseason. He also did not commit to Brady being in the lineup Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys but said he has a “pretty high level” of confidence that we’ll see Brady in uniform to start the season.
The Buccaneers coach also stated that Brady’s absence was discussed before the start of training camp. Bowles expounded on Brady’s absence by saying they knew he wouldn’t take any snaps in the first two preseason games.
Brady wanted the first two weeks of training camp before taking his leave of absence. Bowles also explained that Brady didn’t want to take reps away from Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask leading up to the two preseason games.
The Tampa Bay head coach doesn’t think Brady’s absence hinders the Buccaneers’ offensive progress. They want to get a better look at the backup quarterbacks and the receivers fighting for roster spots. He went as far as to say, “it kind of helps us that way.”
PFN NFL Analyst Dalton Miller contributed to this report.