"Numerous sources" close to Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady are reportedly convinced he'll soon announce his retirement.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports "several sources who are within Brady's inner circle anticipate" his retirement announcement in the coming weeks.
La Canfora reports that the 44-year-old quarterback is likely to wait until after the Super Bowl (February 13) to announce his decision if true, as he doesn't want a major announcement to take away attention from the NFL's biggest annual event.
"He is very respectful of the game, and has great respect for the Tampa organization and all they have done for him," a source reported to be 'close to the quarterback' told La Canfora via CBS Sports. "He understands the ramifications that this decision would have on the team moving forward, and he would never want to do anything to upstage the playoffs. Whatever he decides, I'd expect he announces it soon."
Brady immediately faced questions about his NFL future after the team's NFC Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday (January 23).
"Truthfully guys, I'm thinking about this game," Brady said after the 30-27 loss, which came on a last-second field goal after the Bucs rallied back from a 27-3 second-half deficit, via ESPN.
On Sunday (January 23), sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington that the 44-year-old quarterback was undecided about his NFL future and planned to take time after the season ends to asses how he feels mentally and physically, as well as his family's desires, before making deciding on his 23rd NFL season.
Brady's postgame comments reiterated that report following the Bucs' elimination loss.
"I haven't put a lot of thought into it, so you know, we will just take it day by day and kind of see where we are at," Brady said.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion has one year remaining on his contract with Tampa Bay, but has hinted at his interest to continue playing in the past.
The Buccaneers finished the 2021 NFL regular season with a 13-4 record, ranking second in the NFC, but were marred with several significant offensive injuries including leading wide receiver Chris Godwin, as well as the late season departure of Antonio Brown.
Tampa Bay dealt with even more injuries during Sunday's game with Tyler Johnson experienced a rib injury and Jaelon Darden suffering a concussion, forcing tight end Cameron Brate to line up as a slot receiver and a backup right guard being snaps at right tackle due to a lack of depth.
"It's the reality of football," said Brady, who lost in the divisional round for just the fourth time in his career. "Every team is really qualified when you get to the final eight, then the final four, then the final two and it doesn't feel good to lose any one of those games, and I have lost each of those stages. So at the end, there is only one team that is going to be happy. It feels good to move on when you move on, and obviously when you don't, whether it was last week or this week or next week, the week after, two weeks after that -- if you are a loser in that game, it all sucks to lose in the end."
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said "that's totally up to Tom" when asked about a timetable regarding his quarterback's decision on his NFL future.