There has been plenty of speculation over the years about when Tom Brady might announce that his career is over. Jim Nantz thought it might be right after Super Bowl 53.
Speaking with The Athletic, Nantz said that after a production meeting with Brady in Atlanta ahead of the Patriots’ Super Bowl against the Rams, Brady stood up and gave everyone a little hug and thanked them for covering him during his career.
“As soon as I see the door shut, I say, ‘Well folks, this is his last game. We have Tom Brady’s final game,'” Nantz said. “That basically was his way of telling us it’s over. He’s calling it quits after this game against the Los Angeles Rams.”
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Of course, Brady, then 41, was not done. The Patriots won the Super Bowl 13-3, and Brady returned for another year in New England.
Nantz explained that the CBS crew didn’t know the next season would be his last in New England, and that after the Patriots lost to the Titans in the playoffs, they closed the broadcast with the cameras on Brady.
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“We knew that probably his days were over in New England, but maybe for good. We were trying to undertake this incredible scene. How do you frame Tom Brady’s career because it’s over?” Nantz said. “Fast forward to Super Bowl 55. Who is the MVP of the game? It’s Tom yet again. So I guess the conclusion here is when we come to October 2026, Week 8, it should be around game 200 and we’ll be on the eve of calling let’s say the Patriots against Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.”
Brady has continued to defy the aging curve as he plays in his age 44 season. He has won four Super Bowls since turning 37 years old, won league MVP at age 40 and is the front-runner for the award again in 2021.
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With the Buccaneers at 9-3, Brady has completed 68.3 percent of his passes, while leading the league in passing yards (3,771) and passing touchdowns (34).