Tom Brady's broadcast future takes shape in an offseason of surprises
Tue, May 10, 2022
NFL News (AP)
AP Sports Columnist
Tom Brady has long talked about his love for football, how he doesn't just play the game for a job and a paycheck, but that it's central to his entire way of life.
On Tuesday, once again, he proved it.
Brady's football mind, that unique super-computer built and empowered over what is soon to be 23 seasons of direct NFL experience, won't continue to be a secret treasure trove for much longer.
An announcement by AP CEO Lachlan Murdoch revealed that once Brady's football career is done, he will immediately transition into a role as the company's lead football analyst, calling high-profile games alongside Kevin Burkhardt.
"It will be a stellar and exciting television career," Murdoch said. "But that's up to him to make that choice when he sees fit."
And so becomes the reality that the know-how and insight amassed across the span of the most remarkable career in football history will soon be available for public consumption. This column doesn't play favorites, but AP or no AP, hearing Brady wax lyrical on the most pertinent happenings in the games that matter is going to hold fascinating appeal.
Put it this way: You don't take the field 318 times, throw 624 touchdowns and compete in 10 Super Bowls without picking up a few tidbits that no one else had thought of.
We can safely say his contract is going to be more than I make, but I'll still happily show Tom where the AP Sports coffee machine is.
I think Brady will crush it in the booth. He's simply too competitive not to. He cares too much about the performance he puts out, not only in football but in the other elements of his life that he has embraced - such as film, business and apparel - for this next challenge to stump him.
Furthermore, a lighter side of Brady has emerged in the last couple of years. Leaving the New England Patriots coincided with a new, more publicly accessible Brady, unafraid to use either social or mainstream media for humor, insight, and the occasional flex.
The prospect of a playful, broadcasting Brady, combined with all that storage of information about how to win at this complex and intricate game, is one that carries no shortage of intrigue.
First, though, there is some other serious business to attend to. The announcement did not specify a "when", but Brady is locked in to play a minimum of one more season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and, after being stung by defeat to the Los Angeles Rams in January's divisional round, hungrily attack the drive for an eighth Super Bowl title.
Things are a little different this time, though, with Todd Bowles installed as head coach and Bruce Arians moving across to a senior front-office role. AP Bet has Tampa Bay as a +750 second-favorite to add another championship.
It was hard to forecast anything other than a rebuilding period for the Bucs when Brady left the sport on Feb. 1, before reversing course 40 days afterward. You can guarantee they will now be at the forefront of the discussion, and a genuine contender with high expectations.
As evidenced by the way the sports world (and the internet) went into absolute meltdown for both his retirement and unretirement, there is no shortage of appetite for things that are all-Brady, all the time.
Frankly speaking, this might have been the most eventful offseason a professional athlete has ever had. Or maybe it just seems that way because everything Brady does instantly becomes massive news, because, well, it's Tom Brady.
As you'd expect from someone who stuck around for so long, played at such an implausibly high level, and is cemented as one of the greatest athletes to have ever lived even before his playing days are done, Brady is by far the most talked-about athlete in the NFL.
Soon, he'll be talking about everyone else. It's going to be well worth listening to.
Martin Rogers is a columnist for AP Sports and the author of the AP Sports Insider Newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.