The Tampa Bay Buccaneers bowed out of the NFL season after losing to the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC wild-card round on Monday, Jan. 23, a development that may factor into the future of future NFL Hall of Famer, Tom Brady.

Returning for another season after initially retiring, the 45-year-old may have given a hint on what he plans to do next in the post-game press conference of that game.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion said that he would take a careful approach to his NFL future and thanked reporters for what some perceived as Brady possibly saying goodbye.

“Hopefully, you know, I love this organization,” Brady said. “It’s a great place to be. I love everyone for welcoming me, all you regulars. And just very grateful for the respect, and I hope I gave the same thing back to you guys. So thank you very much.”

However, multiple NFL players believe that if Brady would return, it would not be with the Buccaneers. They based on multiple interactions they had with the five-time Super Bowl MVP, believing that Brady has no intention to play a fourth year with the Bucs, the NFL Network reported.

“I’d be surprised if he’s back,” one Buccaneer told the outlet.

“He sounded like a person saying goodbye for good,” another said.

Brady is set to become a free agent in the NFL offseason, just the second time in his career. Despite the uncertainty shrouding his future, there are teams such as the Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers being linked to the three-time NFL MVP.

There is also the possibility of Brady opting for retirement anew. After another disappointing run, this is possible. But then again, there is that chance that he could unretire again and play next NFL season.

This happened last season and the decision cost Brady dearly. Should he retire though, the 15-time Pro Bowler is not expected to fall short of other opportunities tied to football.

Tom Brady
Tom Brady Getty Images

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