Tom Brady’s latest Instagram post seems to confirm his NFL return in 2020

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 04: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 04: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

While it’s still unknown just what the future holds for New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, it looks increasingly likely he won’t retire this offseason.

There are three major possibilities for Tom Brady in the coming months this spring and summer.

  1. Return to the New England Patriots on a new deal
  2. Sign with another NFL team on a new deal
  3. Retire from professional football altogether

It’s anyone’s guess what Brady plans to do. In his postgame presser after last weekend’s shocking loss to the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card game, even Brady acknowledged he didn’t have a firm idea of what 2020 would hold for him. Unless he’s just maintaining a really great poker face, we should believe him.

After all, this is uncharted territory for Brady and the only team he’s ever played for. Brady wrapped up his 20th season in the league last year, and he’s set to turn 43 before the 2020 regular season begins.

Most NFL players would have long since retired before they got anywhere near his age.

But most NFL players aren’t Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.

Brady has built an entire side business outside of his playing career that is predicated on his ability to stave off the deteriorating affects of age and injury. He hawks healthy cookbooks, pliability exercises, fitness equipment and attire, etc. He’s also responsible for his growing empire of the TB12 wellness brand and sports recovery centers, along with personal trainer and business partner Alex Guerrero.

Brady has repeatedly stated in the past that he intends to play at least until he’s 45, which he means he’d need to suit up for another three seasons of NFL football. While his stance on retirement has seemingly grown a bit more vague this past season at times, he shared a long post on Instagram this week that may help give us a better glimpse into where he’s at with his thought process these days.

The good news: it appears at least that retirement isn’t a likely outcome anymore.

The bad news: we’re no less sure he’ll be back in a Patriots uniform next fall.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Brady acknowledged New England’s incredible support system in 2019, from his teammates to his coaches and his fans. He also stated that he understood the frustration that comes from losing a football game, especially in the playoffs – Brady probably understands that frustration more than anyone on earth.

But notably, Brady also said that when you lose, you can “learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again.”

Did he mean “arena” in the literal sense, as in a football stadium in the NFL?

It sure looks like it:

“And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.”

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That last part should be the most encouraging if you’re a Patriots and/or NFL and/or Tom Brady fan. The greatest quarterback of all time admitting that “I know I still have more to prove” should be an excellent indicator that Brady doesn’t want his Hall of Fame career to end on such a sour note as a home playoff lose to the Titans.

Now the only question is whether he’ll want to erase that blemish with New England or with another team next season…