Seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Brady is widely considered the greatest NFL player of all-time but officially retired from the sport for a second time just last month.
The 45-year-old announced his decision in an emotional video posted to social media, 12 months on from retiring for the first time but changing his mind to play one more season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Perhaps inevitably, rumours have continued to swirl that he will repeat the trick this year, with NFL Network host Rich Eisen adding fuel to the fire.
“This one just blew my mind: Tom Brady might not be done after all,” Eisen said on The Rich Eisen Show on Monday, sharing rumours he heard at the recent NFL Combine.
“A couple people were just like, ‘Hang on, just you wait.’ And I was like, ‘He’s Instagramming out pictures of his cat.’ But it doesn’t look like he’s getting big and fat, does it? Let it play out. Let’s see who wants what.”
Brady took to Twitter in response and appeared to pour cold water on the speculation with a light-hearted tweet.
Anyone who thinks I have time to come back to the NFL has never adopted a 2 month old kitten for their daughter. https://t.co/Qzf2H4vr1j
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 7, 2023
“Anyone who thinks I have time to come back to the NFL has never adopted a 2 month old kitten for their daughter,” wrote Brady.
Brady has one son and one daughter with ex-wife Gisele Bündchen and revealed that he adopted several cats in February, before his daughter Vivian hacked her dad’s Instagram account shortly after to share some pictures of their new Siamese kittens.
“Vivi wins again,” the three-time NFL MVP posted on Instagram, alongside a video of the kittens play-fighting. “Thanks @loganryan and @coolmbreezy this is what my mornings are like now. @humansocietytampa they are in good, loving hands.”
While adopting kittens is undoubtedly a time-consuming process, Brady’s competitive drive that made him arguably the NFL’s greatest-ever player will always fuel rumours of a return to the field.
He is set to transition to the broadcast booth to commentate on NFL games with FOX Sports from 2024, with a reported ten-year, $375million contract waiting for him, but Eisen says teams still have interest in convincing the legend to put his cleats back on.
“The one place that folks are saying to keep an eye out for is Miami,” added Eisen. “If the Dolphins, somehow or some way get a doctor’s report or piece of information from a medical evaluation of Tua [current Doplhins starting QB Tua Tagovailoa] that he may not be ready to go, and suddenly there’s Tom Brady sitting in Florida, where his family is located and where he can easily locate himself - keep an eye out on that, I was told by a couple of birdies at the Combine.”