Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) leaves the field after a 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams during the NFC Divisional Round on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Just a day removed from being eliminated in the playoffs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers star quarterback Tom Brady opened up about his future in the NFL on Monday, indicating that family will play a significant role in determining whether he will retire or play next season.
Brady hinted that if he were to announce his retirement, he could walk away "proud and satisfied," even though the Buccaneers lost 30-27 to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday.
"I think as I've gotten older, I think the best part is football is extremely important in my life, and it means a lot to me. And I care a lot about what we're trying to accomplish as a team and I care a lot about my teammates," Brady said on his Let's Go podcast with Jim Gray. "The biggest difference now that I'm older is I have kids now, too, you know.
"And I care about them a lot as well. They've been my biggest supporters. My wife is my biggest supporter. It pains her to see me get hit out there, and she deserves what she needs from me as a husband. And my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad.
"I'm going to spend some time with them and give them what they need, because they've really been giving me what I need the last six months to do what I love to do. I said this a few years ago, it's what relationships are all about. It's not always what I want, it's what we want as a family."
Brady noted that he will spend "a lot of time" with his family this off-season to "figure out in the future what's next."
The 44-year-old Brady has three children. His oldest child, Jack, is 14 years old and lives with his mother, actress Bridget Moynahan, in New York. Brady also has a 12-year-old son, Benjamin, and a 9-year-old daughter, Vivian, who live with him and his wife, supermodel and philanthropist Gisele Bundchen.
Brady said there isn't any rush to make a decision on his future, and Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said Monday that no deadline has been set. The franchise wants Brady to return, but the club has encouraged him to take as much time as he needs and will look at contingency plans in the event Brady does enter retirement.
"We'll see. There's a long time between now and the start of next football season," Brady said. "I've got to really figure those things out, which is probably natural for anyone. And at the same time, I would say this, we never know what's going to happen in the future. We really don't.
"I mean, Kobe Bryant, a friend of ours, God rest his soul. You think you're going to live forever. We're not. We think we're going to play forever. We're not. What can we do? We can enjoy the moments that we have."
Brady, a three-time MVP, has captured seven Super Bowl championships in his NFL career. He owns a 243-73 record in the regular season and a 35-12 mark in the playoffs.
After spending two decades with the New England Patriots, Brady joined the Buccaneers in 2020 and guided the team to the postseason for the first time in 13 years. Tampa Bay went on to win its second Super Bowl title in franchise history that year.
The Buccaneers, however, came up short this season. It was just the fourth time in his career that Brady failed to advance in the divisional round.
"As challenging as the season was, I was glad I played and glad I participated, because I'm living my life and I'm not just counting the days," Brady said. "So my days are meaningful to me. I'm going to try to keep them meaningful to me. And, you know, in the meantime I'm going to do as best I can to enjoy the time that I have not playing football.
"Because that's equally important. Playing football, I get so much joy from. I love it. But not playing football, there's a lot of joy in that for me also now, too, with my kids getting older and seeing them develop and grow. So all these things need to be considered and they will be.
"The funny part is that most guys retire and then move to Florida. I'm already in Florida. So it's really confusing, even to me."