Was this Tom Brady’s final game? Speculation runs rampant as Rams end Bucs’ playoff run

John Raoux/AP

Is this the way Tom Brady is ending his legendary NFL career?

Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were bounced by the Los Angeles Rams in an NFC divisional round game Sunday at Raymond James Stadium and speculation is growing that Brady might call it quits.

NBC, which broadcast the 30-27 Rams win, helped amplify the rumors with Brady’s pregame comments. The Rams advanced to host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game at SoFi Stadium.

“Out of the blue, the question comes up this week, will he retire after the season,” NFL Insider Mike Florio said on NBC. “I have no idea what changed or how it changed or why it changed, but the thinking is, maybe he’s gotten to the point where he recognizes he’s missed too much of his family time.

“He’s been around the NFL for 22 years now and it could be that he takes a step back and figures out whether or not he truly does indeed intend to continue in 2022. This thing is amazing in how quickly it’s bubbled up and we have to take it seriously.”

Brady, of course, is a first ballot Hall of Famer. He turns 45 in August. He just completed his 22nd season in the NFL.

He finished with 329 yards on 30 of 54 passing with a touchdown, an interception, and a fumble.

He owns nearly every NFL quarterback record and has made a record 10 Super Bowl appearances with a record seven titles, including a year ago when he led the Bucs to a Super Bowl title. He won six Super Bowls in 20 years with the New England Patriots.

Brady is the all-time NFL leader in passing yards, touchdowns, attempts and completions.

Although he didn’t play outstanding in Sunday’s loss, Brady had one of the best seasons of his storied career. He threw for a career-high 5,316 yards and had career highs in completions and attempts. His 43 passing touchdowns are second only to his 50 in 2007.