Brady showed the love for the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the Valentine’s Day podcast on Monday, February 14. His praise of the Rams also hinted at his potential disappointment with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rams notably knocked out the Bucs in the Divisional Round on Jan. 23.
“You’ve got to go for it,” Brady told Gray on the podcast. “You can’t buy them. You’ve got to go earn them. And when you watch the Rams’ approach, you know, they could go the other way, but it’s not from lack of effort. That’s an organization that’s determined to go out there and win Super Bowls, and I have a lot of respect for that.”
Brady highlighted the Rams’ additions of quarterback Matthew Stafford and cornerback Jalen Ramsey as big keys. The former Bucs quarterback also highlighted the in-season acquisitions of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. linebacker Von Miller.
Beckham, who has a good rapport with Brady, had the Bucs on the radar when the Cleveland Browns released him at midseason, but Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said they had more than enough depth at receiver. It didn’t work out that way as Chris Godwin tore his ACL and Antonio Brown bailed on the Bucs in January.
Stroud noted that the Bucs could have justified pursuing a trade for Miller, which the Rams did instead. Bucs linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul had been dealing with injuries all season, and fellow linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White also dealt with injuries.
Brady ‘Wasn’t Happy With’ Bucs Moves
Stroud highlighted Brady’s comments on the future and Sports Illustrated columnist Albert Breer’s insights as two reasons for why Brady wasn’t satisfied in Tampa.
“I think that there were things as far as the way, like, from in-game things to, like, the handling of the Antonio Brown situation, that I think over time started to get to him a little bit. So I don’t think he’s coming back as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer,” Breer said on the “Rich Eisen Show” on Feb. 9.
Brady hasn’t closed the door on ever coming back despite his official retirement announcement on Feb. 1. He said “never say never” during his Feb. 7 podcast.
While Brady reiterated his decision on the Feb. 14 podcast, he still left the door open a crack.
“I’m super content and happy with how I feel in my decision,” Brady told Gray. “All you can do is take it day by day. Nothing is promised for us. I’m going to do things that I really enjoy and spend time with people that I really enjoy spending time with. The future is bright. I look forward to the opportunities that are ahead.”
Stroud: Bucs Expect Brady to Stay if He Comes Back
While Brady could be looking to play elsewhere, Stroud noted the Bucs don’t plan to allow that.
The Bucs still have Brady on the active roster, and the team will retain his rights if he goes on the reserve-retired list, Stroud wrote. Brady’s most likely target, his hometown San Francisco 49ers, passed on him in free agency in 2020 and the draft in 2000.
San Francisco may part ways with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but the 49ers also have No. 3 draft pick Trey Lance waiting for his opportunity. Stroud called it “probably cynical” to believe Brady would pursue another team.
“The Bucs would like nothing more than for Brady to change his mind about retirement, and they have every expectation that he will play in Tampa Bay if he does,” Stroud wrote.