Julio Aguilar/Getty Tom Brady
Tom Brady is opening up about winding down after the football season — and how it feels to not win a championship this year.
"I did a lot of things with my kids and family and tried to get caught up," the 45-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback said of the past week on his SiriusXM podcast, "Let's Go! With Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray. "Like probably most football players do at the end of a long season," he added.
The Buccs lost their Wild Card playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys last week, suddenly freeing up a lot of Brady's time.
"There's a lot of decompression," Brady continued. "I know we use that word a lot, but there is a real crash landing element to all of this. And doing it for as long as I have, there's no soft landing either."
Kevin Sabitus/Getty Tom Brady
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He explained the finality of it. "It just, it ends and it's over. And as much as you'd love for something to be a little softer on the way out, it's just not the reality," he told podcast co-hosts Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray.
Gray then asked Brady if it's gotten any easier to handle ending a season without winning a championship.
"You know, it's a good question about whether you get used to it after a period of time and part of the answer is yes," he said candidly.
"And does that mean you care less or does that mean you're a little more evolved or more resilient?" Brady pondered out loud.
The legendary quarterback, who has won six Super Bowls, explained what he's learned as he's gotten older. "It's more about resilience than it is about caring," he said. "You certainly care deeply about it, but in life you try a lot of things and you fail. It's part of life. You know, we try things, we really push ourselves to try to maximize or try something new and it doesn't go the way we want. So what do you do? Do you care less? Do you care more?" he asked.
"So I think for me it's all about resilience," he said. "And what did this particular season teach me? It was resilience amongst, you know, a lot of things, but that's a good thing to take away from it."
In the same episode, Brady made it clear that he has yet to make a decision about whether to return for his 24th season in the NFL, using colorful language when asked about it by Gray.
"Jim, if I knew what I was going to f---ing do, I'd have already f---ing done it," a clearly annoyed Brady said. "I'm taking it a day at a time."
"I sense you're antagonized by the question," Gray then said to some laughter in the background. "It's only the question everybody wants to hear."
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"You're scratching, " Brady responded, before adding: "I appreciate your asking, thank you."
Brady's next move is a burning question in the NFL, especially after his retirement from the sport for 40 days last year, followed soon after by his decision to unretire. He is now a free agent and can sign with another team or retire for good.
Last month, he addressed the elephant in the room on his podcast.
"I think next time I decide to retire, that's it for me," Brady said with a laugh. "So whenever that day comes, we'll figure it out."