The more things change, the more they stay the same. And though Tom Brady said he was “for reals” done this time, not everyone is convinced.
NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, who has been to as many Combine’s as anyone in the media, a long-time host of the network’s coverage, rattled off his list of takeaways from his week in Indianapolis. Some were expected. The Chicago Bears are poised to trade the #1 pick of the draft to a QB-needy team. Aaron Rodgers’ situation is still unsettled in Green Bay. But Eisen’s #1 rumor is a doozy.
Tom Brady could unretire.
Here’s what Eisen had to say.
“Number one rumor I heard at the Combine…Tom Brady may not be done after all,” Eisen said. “A couple of people said, ‘hang on, just you wait.'”
Let me be the one to say what you’re all thinking. Ughhhhh.
Brady briefly unretired in 2022 only to return to the NFL and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the fall. Leading the league in pass attempts for a second straight year, Tampa’s offense looked a mess and averaged barely more than 18 points per game. To put that in perspective, the Bucs’ average 0.3 more points per game the Steelers’ offense did under rookie Kenny Pickett.
After being bounced in the Wild Card game by the Dallas Cowboys, Brady retired a second time “for good” on February 1st, saying he wouldn’t return to the game. But he’s already proven one retirement claim to be ultimately untrue. And there’s little stopping him from making the same choice again. According to Eisen, if Brady does return, it won’t be to Tampa Bay. He’ll be headed to another Florida team.
“It doesn’t look like he’s getting big and fat, does it? Let it play out, let’s see who wants what. The one place folks are saying to keep an eye out for is Miami.”
Brady to Miami has been rumored for years. And the Dolphins have tried. So much the team forfeited their 2023 first round pick for tampering with Brady while in Tampa. Reportedly, Miami planned to hire Sean Payton as its head coach to replace Brian Flores and bring in Brady to be the team’s quarterback. Obviously, neither of those things occurred. The Dolphins seemed to have their QB in Tua Tagovailoa, who was having a breakout season before suffering multiple serious concussions. Those medical concerns leave his future with the team in question. The Steelers aren’t scheduled to play the Dolphins in 2023.
Now, Eisen admits this is a rumor and says it wasn’t a large topic of conversation at Indy. But evidently, more than one person made that point to him.
“Keep an eye on that, I was told by a couple of birdies at the Combine.”
The NFL Combine is the place where rumors fly. Some of it’s true, a lot of it is false. But if there wasn’t at least a little something-something to it, Eisen likely wouldn’t have taken it to his show. We’ll see if it comes true later this summer.
Check out Eisen’s full comments and other Combine rumors below.