Tom Brady is stepping away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to “address some personal matters,” according to the team’s head coach Todd Bowles.
Bowles said the quarterback will return after the team’s preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 20. The Bucs open their regular season campaign against the Dallas Cowboys on September 11.
Bowles said Brady’s absence had been agreed upon in advance and it had already been announced that he would not play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. Bowles said he’s confident Brady will be ready for the start of the season, despite missing practice time with his offense.
“That’s something we talked about before training camp started. We allocated that time because I wanted to come in and get some chemistry with the guys and get through two weeks of training camp,” Bowles told reporters Thursday. “Knowing he wasn’t going to play the first two games, I didn’t want to take reps out of Blaine. [Gabbert] and Kyle [Trask]as well as [Ryan Griffin]as for the next two games.”
Brady, 45, led the league in passing yards and touchdowns last season. He announced his retirement from football in February before reversing the decision shortly after. In May, it was announced that Brady had signed a 10-year, $375 million contract with Fox Sports, which will begin when he permanently retires from the NFL.
This month, the NFL suspended Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and held the team to a first-round pick in the 2023 draft for tampering after an attempt to lure Brady to Miami.
Elsewhere Thursday, Brady’s former New England Patriots teammate James White announced his retirement. The 30-year-old is perhaps best known for his part in Super Bowl LI, when he and Brady led a remarkable comeback win against the Atlanta Falcons. The running back’s three touchdowns in the game matched the Super Bowl record.
“James defines the term consummate professional,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement. “His reliability, consistency, unselfishness and performance under pressure are elite. Combining great intelligence, quickness and elusiveness, James was a perfect fit for our passing offense. Although soft-spoken, he provided leadership exceptional and competitive toughness on the team. He was a multi-year team captain and one of the most respected and best players I have ever coached.”
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