Based on how frequently Tom Brady was able to defy time over the course of his NFL career, no one would’ve been particularly shocked if the quarterback announced his decision to return for a 24th season as a pro after his most recent campaign with the Buccaneers came to a disappointing end.
However, on February 1st, the QB announced he’d decided to hang up his cleats (“for good”) to cap off the absolutely wild ride he embarked on after being drafted by the Patriots with the 199th overall pick in the NFL Draft all the way back in 2000.
It’s not a stretch to assume the man who apparently prioritized playing one last season of football over saving his marriage wished his last year had ended with a bang as opposed to the relative whimper stemming from Tampa Bay’s one-and-done effort in the playoffs.
Now, Bruce Arians has provided some insight into why that may have been the case, as the man who coached Brady and the Bucs to a win in Super Bowl LV 2021 before pivoting to his current role as a “Senior Football Consultant” for the franchise shed some light on what turned out to be Brady’s final season during a recent appearance on The Rich Eisen Show.
Arians suggested losing Ryan Jensen to injury had a bigger impact on the team than most people probably thought (he also cited the loss of Shaquil Barrett as another factor) before turning his attention to the issue that plagued Brady more than anything else.
Here’s what he had to say via Pro Football Talk:
“Tom wasn’t himself, you know, with all the things that were going on. And I got to give him all the credit in the world for battling through what he went through last year for his teammates.
I think the world of him but it wasn’t the real Tom Brady out there.”
You don’t have to read between the lines too hard here to know Arians was referring to the divorce, although it is a bit hard to sympathize with Brady on this particular front when you consider the wound in question was somewhat self-inflicted.